3 Ways To Get Through The Workday (When You're Feeling Unmotivated)

Professional woman feeling unmotivated at work and playing with sticky notes at her desk.

We've all experienced those days when we just don't want to work and can think of a million other things that we'd rather be doing.

Please, no more meetings! No more boring conference calls! No more spreadsheets and flow chart presentations! We just want to go home, get back into bed, and take a nap with our dog. We feel unmotivated, and don't like thinking of the responsibilities that await us in the office.

However, there are bills to pay and careers to make, so we do our best to make it through the day. On those (rare) occasions that you just need to power through the rest of the workday when you're feeling unmotivated, here are a few suggestions:

Focus On Only The Most Crucial Work Tasks

Business woman sitting at her desk and focusing on her most important tasks at work.


Staring at stacks of files on your desk and tons of emails awaiting your reply can feel overwhelming. Check your calendar and determine what things need your immediate attention. Review what is most urgent, make a list of those action items that need to be completed by the end of the day, and address any major issues first.

Then, focus on any "quick hits" before tackling your larger assignments. Breaking down your workload into smaller, more manageable tasks will help you feel more energized throughout the day. Before you know it, you'll be on your way home!

Take A Break

Young professional man drinking coffee and taking a break from work.


Sometimes you just need to walk away from your desk and change your perspective if you're feeling unmotivated at work.

Leave the office to get some fresh air. Stand up and stretch. Listen to music. Get some coffee, tea or a light snack. Make a phone call or send a text to a friend. Check the score from this afternoon's baseball game. Create your grocery-shopping list. Order that jacket that you've had your eye on for the past month.

Take at least 15 minutes to yourself to clear your head from all things "work" before you buckle down and survive till five.

Plan Something Fun To Do After Work

Young professional woman leaving her office and looking forward to her post-work plans.


Planning something you can look forward to can really help you deal with feeling unmotivated.

Make a dinner date with a friend. Find out if your gym has a new class scheduled for that evening. Research local activities to visit that night. Register to attend that networking event a co-worker mentioned. Buy a ticket to the movie you've wanted to see for months.

Knowing there is something great planned after work gives you something to look forward to at the end of the day. It will help keep you motivated to get your work done and feel good about rewarding yourself later!

Remember, for one reason or another, everyone from the CEO to the Intern has had ad day where they feel unmotivated at work.

So the next time you reach your desk in the morning after a poor night's sleep, or return to your office from a meeting that zapped all of your energy, or get into another argument with your cubicle-mate about how loud he talks on the phone, take a breath and think about what you could do to help get you through the rest of the workday. It'll be 5 o'clock before you know it!

If you need more help getting motivated at work, or if you're looking to level-up in your career, Work It Daily can help, starting today!

When you join our career growth club, you get access to courses, coaching, and a community that pushes you to become a better professional and take ownership of your career growth. Whether you're looking for a promotion, thinking about changing careers, or need help figuring out your next big career move, we can help!

So, what do you say? Let's get started growing your career today!

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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