7 Reasons You Might not be Motivated at Work

7 Reasons You Might not be Motivated at Work

|May 3, 2021

We all have days where we do not get anything done. You feel bored, lazy, and unmotivated, and just can't get yourself motivated to do anything. You decide to watch some cat videos for some inspiration. Before you know it, you find yourself having spent the whole morning binge-watching Youtube videos.

At lunchtime, you decide to get something to eat, and then you tell yourself you will get back to your task, and do the work this time around.

After lunch, you swing by your desk; you feel lethargic and decide to place your head on your desk for a few minutes. A few minutes turn into a siesta. All of a sudden, it's 5 pm, you look at what you have done, well you have done nothing!

Fear not: there is nothing wrong with you, but there are things that are making you unmotivated. Here are 7 reasons why you are not motivated, and how to overcome each one of them.

1. You have zero connection to your why 

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Can you answer the question, "Why do you do what you do?" Unfortunately, most people cannot answer this question conclusively. They do not know why they do what they do. However, they just find themselves doing things.

For example, if you are asked why your work, what would your answer be? 

If you do not have a "why", chances of being motivated are minimal. However, if you do know why you work, you will be looking forward to doing your work.

2. You reward yourself for everything

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Imagine you have finally gotten the motivation to do what you are supposed to do. So, you settle down at your desk and get started. However, you quickly realize it is too tough, and give yourself a break, and decide to check your social media.

Down the pike, you find yourself putting off your work and telling yourself you will come to it. 

When you do come back to it, you feel the same dread and put it off again. And the cycle goes on and on.

The trouble is that your brain gets used to knowing there are no hard and fast consequences for not finishing a task. In the long run, you find yourself unmotivated to put yourself to work and get anything done.

To cure yourself of this cycle, stop rewarding yourself for not doing anything. Be hard on yourself and say, for example, you will only check social media after you have completed your task. It will take some time to get used to, as you will be rewiring your reward system in your brain. However, this will quickly get you motivated to do stuff. So, in the end, you only reward your good behavior of getting things done, and not leaving them halfway done.

3. You do not know what you want

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Most people are indecisive about what they want. They do not have goals that they want to achieve and do not have the ambition to pursue a meaningful life.

So, if you do not know where you are headed, how are you supposed to be excited about it? It is like driving on an unknown road and hoping you will reach a dream destination. Nine out of ten, that destination will be a let-down.

So, do yourself a favor, have some goals. This will give you the motivation to get up and start pursuing things that matter in your life.

4. You are relying on willpower

If you are sitting around and waiting around on your sheer will power to do things, guess what, you will keep on waiting, and nothing will get done. 

Willpower is an ability to get things done when we want to get them done. However, since it is ability, you have to practice it for you to harness it.

Therefore, if you have not been exercising your willpower, and are relying on your willpower alone to get things done, you will not be very frustrated. You will soon realize willpower alone cannot get you motivated to work.

You will just have to get started on your work, whether you feel it or not. From there, motivation will find you along the way.

5. You are relying on extrinsic motivation

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When your boss congratulates you for a job well done, do you feel motivated to keep on working? However, when the praise words fade away, you do not feel motivated?

If you are this kind of person, it is time to switch to intrinsic motivation. This is the motivation that comes from inside you and stems from inner passions, beliefs, and values that you cultivate in you. If you build on them, they will motivate you for years and years to come.

So, switch from extrinsic motivations like praise, rewards, and stars to intrinsic motivation, which will keep you going no matter what.

6. You are stuck

Are you hitting the same snug over, and over again? You feel like you are not making any progress. This can be causing you to lose your motivation.

If things are stuck, try and change your perspective. With newfound insight, you will be able to overcome the challenges and find your motivation coming back .

7. You stay in bed

How long do you stay in bed?  It has been shown that lying in bed for too long can ruin your mood, well being, and most of all, your motivation. 

So, the next time you feel like hitting the snooze button, or lazing in bed, know you are hurting your motivation.


Feeling bummed out when you have work to do can be very frustrating. And not knowing how to get out of it, adds salt to injury.

Fortunately, with the above tips, you can now understand why you do not feel motivated and know how to get yourself motivated.


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