Creative Process: How to Get Loads Done with Zero Motivation

There’s something about being a creative. Some days it comes with a hint of bliss and adventure. You get to do what you love, create your own hours, and work from home. You can work from the open road, have a mobile office, and find wild on any given day. Staying inspired and living a radical life are your norm. Other days, you become your own worst enemy. Learning how to manage the hustle, grow your business, and stick to plans when it is just you running the show, it can be more than daunting.

It’s easy to find half a day gone and still sitting around in your PJs, eating a bowl of wheaties. Other days you can respond to emails and calls for contributors until the evening hours, finding that you haven’t even touched your to-do list for the day. It’s easy to burn out, trying to keep up, and fighting feeling overwhelmed. Other days, it’s so overwhelming motivation goes out the window.

How do you get loads done when you have zero motivation? Keep reading for my tips and tricks.

(Physically) Write and stick to your to-do list.

While apps for task management are great, there’s something that is physically different about writing things down. Write out your to-do list at the beginning of the day or the night before. I use a planner to keep me organized and it stays on my desk throughout the day. On the window in front of my desk, I have my moodboard and task sheets for larger projects, so I always have a strong idea of what other projects I need to be working on. With every day, I always have three goals to accomplish. These sit at the top of my to-do list. It could be a deadline, getting groceries, a bill to pay, or a meeting to prep for. These are the highest priority items and things I attempt to tackle first. It’s proven that when you write things down and cross them off, you get motivated to tackle more tasks. Meet the snowball of motivation.

Positive reinforcement always works.

Have you just completed a massive task, project, or deadline? Take time and celebrate. Even if it’s a small dance party at your desk, getting up to stretch, or grabbing a fresh cup of water/coffee, celebrate the ways you get things done. If I’m struggling to get motivated I might give myself a reward when I get things done. Sometimes it means getting to go to sleep (this motivation really works for me), stopping and taking a break for dinner, going for a short hike, or finishing the night with a good book and cup of tea. Whatever works for you, find ways to reward yourself when you get things done.

Get out of your yoga pants.

If you work from home, it’s easy to work on the couch and stay in your yoga pants all day. Don’t. Get up, get ready for the day, and put on real clothes. This is your job and treat it as such. Whether it means heading to your studio, going to a coffee shop to knock out a bunch of tasks, or just sitting at your desk looking like the rad creative that you are, you will get far more done when you’re dressed to get things done.

Keep a schedule and routine.

Some of the world’s most successful people, have and stick to their pre-evening and morning rituals. Having consistency gets your mind in a healthy rhythm and allows you to be your creative best. Maybe you get the most done in the early morning hours and struggle to make it through the afternoon slump. This would be a great time to schedule errands, client calls, and responding to emails, rather than focusing on projects. Maybe you are a night owl and have the most brilliant ideas at night. If you’re going to bed at midnight or later, it’s unrealistic to be back at a desk by 8 in the morning. Develop some great habits and a morning routine that keeps you inspired and takes care of you as well.

How do you get stuff done when you have zero motivation?

I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below. 

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