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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It

10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It

Being demotivated is arguably one of the worst feelings in the world. You feel as though you have no direction and, despite the fact that you are not getting any enjoyment out of getting nowhere, you feel no urgency or drive to make the effort to change your situation.

While this may seem like a bleak situation, fret not! Motivation is like money; even if you have none of it at the moment, you can always get some more!

If you’re reading this, you have most likely run into a wall of demotivation. If this is the case, let’s dive right into the reasons why you may be experiencing this and what actions you can take to get out of it.

1. You Are Working Without Purpose

The biggest reason why someone may be feeling demotivated is that they are living their lives without goals or intent.

If you’re living a life without purpose, you are bound to go through the motions without any sense of direction, feeling as though you are doing things simply for the sake of doing things rather than to work towards something that you want.

Sounds familiar?

Fortunately enough, demotivation that is caused by a lack of life purpose can be easily fixed. All you have to do to work on this demotivational factor is to figure out what it is you are looking for out of life and to establish specific, bite-sized, achievable goals that can help you to get there.

With a life plan you are passionate about, you’ll feel motivated in all aspects of your life quite quickly once more.

This article can help you find your purpose to work: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

2. Your Lack of Motivation Stems From Fear

When we fear progress, we refuse to move forward, becoming stuck at a certain point in our lives that allows us to only achieve so much on a daily basis. Whether this is an obstacle you have created for yourself in your professional life or your personal life, it becomes more difficult to break free of this cycle as each day passes. This, in turn, manifests into discontent and demotivation.

So, what can you do about this fear when it affects your motivation levels?

The first thing to do is to take note of the fact that you are putting off progress because you are afraid of a certain outcome.

Next, it is important to ask yourself what you are afraid of hearing in relation to your situation and whether or not that fear should really be stopping you from moving forward.

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Finally, you need to start chipping away at that fear step-by-step until you face it head on and conquer it.[1]

True that life can be scary at moments. But is there anything scarier than missing out on opportunities and not living your life to the fullest?

3. You’re Doing Things for the Wrong Reasons

Our body knows how to react in any given situation and the lack of motivation that has you down may be a direct result of what you are doing.

Ask yourself, is everything I do done for the right reasons?

Say, for example, that you are currently working a job that pays well but isn’t truly fulfilling. You know you are working for the financial stability and this keeps you there but it is not truly what you want to do. This slowly wears you down and, because the position provides no purpose for you, you don’t have any real motivation to continue on with the position.

This concept is applicable to all areas of life and, if you feel unmotivated, it is quite possible that you are doing things for the wrong reasons instead of doing things that fulfill you.

4. You Take on Too Much and Are Overwhelmed

It’s great to be ambitious and it is also perfectly fine to take on quite a bit of work and achieve as much as you can during the day. However, when you take on too much, you stretch yourself too thin and become burnt out rather quickly.

If you’re too overwhelmed by the many projects you are pursuing, you are less likely to want to do them. If you fall behind, you lose further motivation and you wind up not enjoying the tasks you are supposed to accomplish and lose the drive to see them through.

The key to staying motivated with anything is to take as much on as possible without making it unenjoyable. Being able to get through your day without feeling stressed and pressed for time goes a long way in helping you to keep your purpose and motivation intact.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important that you learn better time-management skills and more about your limitations in order to craft a better schedule for yourself immediately.[2]

5. You May Be Dealing with Symptoms of a Mental Illness

Although mental illness symptoms are easy to spot for some, others can deal with a mental illness without ever suspecting it.

For example, there are plenty of professionals who deal with dysthymia for years, which is a low-grade form of depression that leaves the individual able to engage in their day but still provides the classic symptoms of fatigue and lack of motivation.

You may also be dealing with full-blown depression, which can result in hopelessness and a lack of enjoyment in daily activities. It also carries more severe consequences if left untreated.

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If you believe that you may be dealing with a mental illness, it is important that you seek for mental health assistance immediately to help reduce the severity of the symptoms and learn how to properly cope with the condition.

You are worth it!

6. Your Goals Are Too Big

Having goals is necessary to leading a purposeful life. However, it may be your goals that are actually at the source of your current motivation problem.

Do your goals look like this:

I want to launch my website and fill it with 100 blogs by the end of this year.

Rather than this:

I want to launch my website by the end of next month and write one blog each week for my new website.

The difference between the two goals is that one is far too large and vague while the other one is achievable and specific.

Think about your to-do list. Is it filled with endless tasks that seem impossible to tackle or is it filled with small steps that foster achievement and excite you when you finish them?

If your goals are too large and you are expecting too much from yourself, you are not going to motivated to chip away at that goal on a consistent basis. Smaller steps are much easier to accomplish and will keep you motivated to achieve the larger end goal.

Break it down and keep it simple! Learn how to set achievable and specific goals here: How SMART Goal Setting Makes Lasting Changes in Your Life

7. You’re Engaging in Self-Sabotage

Perhaps you feel that you don’t have the skills to see it through. Perhaps you think others don’t think you’re capable of achievement and are purposely sabotaging yourself and prevent yourself from moving forward.

In either case, your lack of motivation may be due to your desire to stunt your growth rather than to unleash and prove your greatness to the world.

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Why do you feel that you aren’t capable of what it is you seek to do? If it is the other way around, why do you feel as though others don’t think that you are capable?

Sit down and write down a list of your accomplishments, skills, and strengths. Once you see it written down, you can easily begin to see your own value.

Whether it is to prove someone wrong, to prove yourself right, or to simply shine, breaking through self-doubt or self-sabotage can help you to regain your motivation that is lost under these circumstances.

Learn how to overcome your self doubt in this article: How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

8. You Believe You Should Have Accomplished More by Now

With the exception of a rare few, a lot of people put pressure on themselves and put themselves down because they think that they haven’t accomplished enough out of all of the time that they have been alive.

It can be easy to get into this state of mind. But the past is the past and the only thing you are in control of is the future.

When you allow yourself to indulge in the past, you fall into the habit of giving up and going through the motions. This habit strips you of motivation and prevents you from making any progress whatsoever.

As the old saying goes,

“Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

You can’t expect to meet your life goals instantly. Instead, work hard each day and measure your progress. Each step forward is a step in the right direction.

Don’t give up!

9. You Have a Habit of NOT Doing Anything

It can be hard to hear but some people are just one of those individuals who do absolutely nothing on a daily basis.

They have plenty of tasks and potential but they choose to not do it simply because they don’t feel like it. And when they finally sit down to take responsibility and move forward, they wonder why they feel demotivated and have such difficulty getting things done.

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The truth is that getting your life together is hard. You are going to have to do a lot of things you don’t enjoy to get back on track and live the life you want.

Sit down, show up, and do what you must in order to get to where you want.[3]

Lifehack’s CEO has some unique advice on this: How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

10. You’re Settling and Refusing to Push Your Limits

On the opposite spectrum of overwhelm is underwhelm. Underwhelm begins to set in when you are settling on accomplishing less rather than pushing your limits and doing what you know you are perfectly capable of handling.

This choice to not do what you are able to and push your limits can cause a lack of motivation as you are consciously deciding to settle for less and stay in mediocrity rather than moving forward and accomplishing more.

It’s something that we all do when we start to feel a little lazy or tired but it is up to you to hold yourself accountable.

If you can make it happen, it is up to you to make sure that you follow through.

Still doubt if it’s better to push your limits? This will change your mind: Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

The Bottom Line

Even the best of us become demotivated but it is necessary that we get back our drive to push forward and live our best lives.

Using these 10 points, you are guaranteed to find the reasons behind your lack of motivation and the next steps you need to take to recover that drive and passion.

Featured photo credit: S O C I A L . C U T via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dylan Buckley

Dylan is Lifehack's Motivation Expert specializing in self-development, with extensive experience working for life coaches and startups.

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Last Updated on October 22, 2019

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

4. Get up and Move

We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

The Bottom Line

It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

More Resources About Boosting Focus and Productivity

Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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