Have you ever been working, or trying to work, on a project, but you just can’t get focused? Or maybe you’re having trouble finding the motivation to just buckle down and finish it?
If you clicked on this article, then I’m going to assume this is something you’re familiar with!
It’s so frustrating when you’re working on something that should’ve only taken 30 minutes to get done, and you’ve already wasted two hours on it!
This could be anything from a homework assignment, a work project, your long to-do list, cleaning your house, or or any other task you just can’t get motivated to finish!
There’s a lot of reasons why you might be experiencing this problem, but don’t worry, it’s not too hard to solve!
Maybe you’re feeling burnt out, and you really need to take some time off from your busy schedule to regroup. Maybe you’re not feeling inspired by what you’re working on, so it feels more like a chore than something you actually want to do. Maybe you’re worried about making a mistake, so you’re procrastinating to avoid that possibility. Or, maybe you don’t have real clarity on what it will take to get the task done, so you’re not sure where to start, or where to go from your current place.
I experience this feeling every now and then, and it’s really frustrating! I will start doing anything to distract myself from it, including things that actually require more effort than the thing I need to do! It can even happen with small things, like doing laundry or making a meal.
There are few tricks and methods I use that really help me snap out of my funk and get focused again! Honestly, you don’t have to love whatever it is you need to do to get motivated to finish it. The main goal isn’t to force yourself to like what you’re doing so you want to work on it, but rather to change your perspective, realize why and how you will complete the task, and just get on with it!
Here are a few ways you can refocus your energy to the task at hand and get motivated to complete it in no time!
- Take a Break
I know this tip to stay focused might seem counterintuitive, but you may just need to take a break. You have to realize that sitting and staring at your computer screen, typing one sentence every hour, is not going to benefit you in any way! You need to step back, get your energy up, get your creative juices flowing, and come back when you’re ready to work!
Don’t think that I mean you should go watch Netflix for three hours. Instead, take a ten minute break to practice an instrument, paint a picture, eat a healthy snack, go on a quick walk outside, or have a little dance party in your room. You could also do a quick workout or some light stretching as well. Something that will raise your energy levels and get your mind thinking creatively will really help you get some momentum when you start working again.
- Come Back to It
Sometimes, you may just have to accept that you’re not in the right place to make good progress on your project, and decide to come back to it another day. Of course, this won’t help if whatever you’re working on is time sensitive, but if it isn’t, this may be the best course of action.
Use the time to do something else productive that’s easier for you to tackle at that moment. Come back to your project the next day, and you may have renewed motivation after stepping away from it and giving yourself a break.
- Make a Plan
If you’re having trouble making progress because you’re not sure what your next step should be, step back and look at the bigger picture. Think about what your end goal is, and think about what you need to do to get there. Then, map out the specific steps to take or things to do to achieve your desired result.
For example: if you’re writing a paper, or blog post, think about what you want to say, the main point you’re trying to get across, and write an outline to support it. Then, you have a kind of ‘map’ to reference when you’re feeling lost and not sure what to do next.
This could also be writing down what you’re not sure about, and doing some research to answer just those questions (don’t get get stuck researching endlessly!). Once you have you’re answers, be sure to write it down so if you get distracted or lose direction, you can reference your notes.
- Find Your Reason
Why are you even working on this project in the first place? It’s hard to feel motivated when you don’t have a reason for doing something. Take a break and think about why you need to finish whatever the task at hand is, and why it will benefit you when you’re done. Are you working to start a side hustle so you can quit your job and have more freedom? Are you working on homework so you can learn new things and graduate college? Are you working on a big work project so you can show your skills and achieve a pay raise?
Do this even if it’s something small, like doing laundry that has piled up. Think about how you feel more relaxed in a clean environment, and doing your laundry will help achieve that!
- Ditch Perfectionism and Focus on Future You
If all else fails, and you can’t find any motivation or inspiration for completing the task, you’re just going to have to buckle down and do it. Sit down, focus on how future you will be so glad you finally completed it, and get working! Give up perfectionism and think about how you much better you will feel, and more relieved, once that annoying task or project isn’t hanging over your head!
Hopefully, you can use these tips to stay focused and finally complete your project or task! You have what it takes to get stuff done, so believe in your abilities, and go rock that project or to-do list!
How do you stay focused or motivated when you’re not in the mood to work?