What to do when you lack motivationThe mug in the photo says: “I’m trying to be awesome today, but I’m exhausted from being so freakin awesome yesterday”. Pretty good summary of how I feel some days. Yup! I have days I lack motivation.

It might go something like this:

  • Two days of cranking out a lot work. Items are coming off the to-do list.
  • A day with several challenges. Lots done but not from the to-do list.
  • A day or more of low energy. I lack motivation to do things on the to-do list.

The fact is, there isn’t a single cause of low motivation. A task we dislike requires a different motivation than a day with events pulling us off task. Examining why we are low energy or don’t wish to complete the task are important. Maybe that task isn’t as important as it seemed when it was added to the to-do list. The list is unique to you and your situation.

But, the question remains.

How do you keep your motivation up?

I asked a group of business owners (many of them music therapists) and received some advice. Here are their responses in a slightly edited fashion.:

  • Keep going.  Have a purpose. Some days it’s harder than others.
  • Schedule a day of nothing & stick to it.
  • Having some fun with a child where you  don’t have to be lead musical activities!
  • COFFEE. And then more coffee. Then ask “what can I do *right now* to further my business?” Maybe it’s sending an email to a new networking connection, or taking 5-10 minutes to connect on social media, or trolling for support groups to offer a presentation… sometimes just that bit of action can get the ball rolling again. And usually by the time that’s finished, the coffee has kicked in.
  • Give yourself some time off and take a nap.
  • Remember, awesomeness is never too far away!
  • Have a quick check-in call with a friend, or to do a task that requires me speaking (recording an audio, a video…). Sometimes being ‘ON’ for a bit sparks energy.
  • Energy drinks.
  • Take a 5-10 minute walk/moving in some way to get energy flowing.
  • Diffuse citrus & peppermint in the room.
  • Plan the day’s schedule accordingly when your energy is down.

Motivational Pose?

About the time these wonderful ideas for motivation were shared a post on posture affecting mood crossed my stream. Seems that power poses when held for two minutes can increase confidence and decrease stress. Whether or not “motivation” is related to levels or confidence or stress, the idea of finding a pose that embodies motivation may have merit. Sort of a “fake it till you make it” approach.


Other thoughts on how to handle those days you lack motivation? Share them in the comments below.