How to force yourself to work if you don’t feel like it at all

Perhaps everyone is familiar with situations when you have to think about how to force yourself to work. Everyone is susceptible to such phenomena - office workers, freelancers, housewives and others. A familiar situation: when you sit down at your desk, the first thing you do is study social networks, read everything in a row, drink coffee, go for a snack, but never get to work? How to deal with this reluctance and why does this happen?

You're not working because you're depressed...and afraid of failure.

This is common when you are doing something new, exciting and big. The tendency to feel depressed is high when so much depends on your success.

There is an easy way to get rid of this feeling of overwhelm: don't focus on results! In any case, you don't know what will happen next. Dr. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, believes that it is better to focus your time and effort on what you can control, on what is within your circle of influence, rather than on what you cannot. influence.

In your work, your circle of influence is limited by your hard work and attention to detail. The results, whether your boss likes what you do, are out of your control, so don't obsess over them.

General advice for those who swing for a long time

Now let's move on to recommendations that will allow you to better accumulate and use your own energy, suffer less from unfinished work and generally increase your productivity.

First tip. Allow yourself to do nothing.

This is the most basic point that many people forget about. In the constant race to become the most productive, every moment when a person does not do something, he thinks about how lazy he is and how he is doing everything wrong. This is a fundamentally wrong approach.

Sometimes you need to allow yourself to just sit back and satisfy momentary desires. Craving something sweet in the middle of the work day? We got up, walked, bought, ate.

Second tip. Rest properly.

A lot of people even on vacation think about work. But each such thought again requires energy from you. And in order to replenish your own energy reserves, you need to rest.

Rest is not just a change of activity. You should not feel like you have to do anything at this time. Do what you really enjoy.

If you don’t allow yourself to rest, then at one point you may face burnout. You don’t have to look far for examples: just work for a week at the pace your boss wants you to do. Not just 8 hours, but all 24, even in my sleep thinking about work. In a week you will realize that you are physically sick of everything, and you don’t want to do anything.

Third tip. Play sports.

Your body is responsible for storing energy. It accumulates and leaves within itself. A healthy and athletic person has much greater internal reserves than someone who does not play sports.

I'm not talking about strenuous exercise. It is enough to exercise, not eat a lot of junk food and at least run occasionally.

Fourth tip. Praise yourself for doing a good job.

Praising yourself for a job well done is one of the ways to gain energy. You can look at the list of planned and completed tasks with a sense of pride. This will be a kind of incentive: “I did all the planned things, I’m great, I can afford to be idle.”

Sincere praise for the work done will make even the lazy person work. Imagine the impact this would have if you were proud of yourself every day for what you did.

Fifth tip. Surround yourself with the right people.

The right people are the ones from whom you get energy. And those who receive energy from you. It doesn't matter who it is. It is much more important how you feel about this person. You yourself have noticed: talk to one person, and you are bursting with positive emotions. There must be many such people.

It is better to isolate yourself from those people who make you waste energy and feel insecure. There should be as few of them as possible.

Following these tips is not that difficult. You can change your thoughts in just one day.

The task is boring, monotonous, tedious, or you just don't like doing it

Your brain is wired to avoid pain and seek rewards at all costs, so you can't convince yourself to do something by thinking, "Next time, I'll wake up early so I have time to do it." If you really had the willpower to do this, you wouldn't wait until tomorrow!

In my case, I always put off washing the dishes. If there are no more spoons, I use chopsticks. No more plates? I will use paper plates. You see, my brain is an expert at convincing me to put these things aside. Your problem problem may be different, but your brain works the same way, helping you find creative loopholes and one-sided rationalizations.

Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, says it's easier to form a habit if you reward yourself for doing it. So I use a modified if-then plan with rewards for completing those pesky tasks. Here's my if-then plan for washing dishes:

If it's 11pm on a Monday, I'll wash the dishes and pans I used the night before and then reward myself by watching episode 1 of Naruto.

This method works because the decision has already been made in advance. So when the time comes to do it, there will be no second thoughts or doubts. It also minimizes the demands on your limited willpower.

But if it doesn't work...


  • Reasons for apathy and lack of desire to work
  • Factors affecting our performance
  • I don’t want to work, what should I do?
  • Plan daily
  • Motivate yourself
  • Take on complex tasks right away
  • During times of severe overexertion and loss of strength, take on simple tasks
  • Be realistic about your abilities
  • Do not be distructed
  • Give your brain a break every now and then
  • Don't indulge yourself and work no matter what!
  • Clean up your workplace
  • Coffee: to drink or not to drink?
  • Discipline yourself
  • Stop imitating someone
  • Think about responsibility
  • Working with a timer
  • Change your scenery
  • Ventilate the room more often
  • Play some sports
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Say NO to bad habits
  • Develop your thinking, train your memory, improve your professionalism
  • Think positively
  • Laugh more often
  • Aromatherapy to help
  • Combine physical labor with intellectual labor
  • Seek help from family and friends
  • Love your job
  • Conclusion


Do it with friends

Remember your study groups back in university? You probably didn't want to study for that calculus test, but hanging out with friends made it less frustrating. Gym buddies and diet groups also work for the same reason.

Whatever you're trying to do, see if there's a way to do it with friends. If you're working on a difficult presentation that's due tomorrow, see if you can find colleagues who are also planning to do it. So while you may be working on different things, at least you're not alone in the office and you'll have someone to talk to about it during your coffee breaks.

Write for this blog

Writing articles for a website is, of course, a pleasure. But on the other hand, it is quite hard work. My main job and technical support for this site are much less labor-intensive than writing structured text. The posts on this blog require a lot of mental effort, concentration and perseverance from me. I'm not pouring out a random stream of consciousness on this site. Before my thoughts appear on the pages of this blog, they need to be combed, organized, organically woven into the overall structure and presented in the form of a ready-made, understandable and adapted text for readers.

After the article is finished, I feel a strong moral satisfaction, as if I had completed a difficult task, which this activity undoubtedly is. What helps me work at my main job and, throughout the whole year, provide readers with fairly voluminous articles? Let's talk about the principles that formed the basis of my work discipline. These principles will help you too.

Stop Waiting Until You Have “Enough” Information

It's just a delay tactic! How many times have you said, “I know it’s time to start this, but I haven’t done enough research yet,” even though you already have tons of information?

To be honest, it is impossible to collect all the information on any subject. And chances are, you have enough to get started—not everything, but enough to get started and just course-correct along the way.

If you're still hesitant to get started, remember that Richard Branson didn't understand aviation when he started the Virgin Group.

How to find your dream job

Instead of a thousand words, you can limit yourself to one story.

From her youth, Marya dreamed of not just some profession - she wanted to make all people happy. A jack of all trades, Marya weaves, draws, and makes dolls. She created a school of needlewomen “Bereginya” in Ufa. Education and experience in organizational work helped. This was the first stage of its implementation.

In 2015, one of the school’s partners invited participants to a Thai yoga massage class - since then, Marya’s interest in this type of activity has only been growing. According to her, this way you can make a lot more people happy.

Having adopted the experience of the best masters in Russia, the girl began to practice on friends. Gradually, amateur activities turned into income. She finds clients through word of mouth and, despite the existing public page on VKontakte, she considers this tool the most effective for promoting her services. The girl pays a lot of attention to education and self-education. Without leaving her homeland, Marya received a Thai certificate and now dreams of an internship in Thailand.

Now Marya is not just a masseuse, but the creator of a traveling Thai yoga massage salon. Three other girls with a similar philosophy work under her leadership. They make three whole cities happy: Ufa, Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg.

Marya values ​​her work for positive emotions and the opportunity to understand psychotherapeutic practices through massage (massage and psychology are linked together for her).

Take the first step

You procrastinate for no reason. We all have days like that, right? In this scenario, you can convince yourself to work if you take the first and tiniest step that will point you in the right direction.

If you need to work on a project, just open a document and type one sentence. Then allow yourself to take a break. Jokes aside!

Congratulating yourself on getting started will encourage you to continue and minimize feelings of guilt. Plus, the first step is always the hardest, so making it easier to overcome this obstacle will make the next steps much easier.

Factors affecting our performance

Not all people's lack of desire to work is due to simple laziness. Eliminate all negative factors that affect performance and productivity. For example:

  • Get a good night's sleep. If your body rests less than 7-8 hours a day, it is unlikely to recover properly.
  • Eat healthy and vitamin-rich foods. All processes in the body are interconnected, and if it does not receive enough of any component, then you will be constantly tired and out of mood.
  • Check your health. Very often, loss of strength and reluctance to do anything is a consequence of improper functioning of organs and systems. For example, if your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, you will feel tired, sleepy, and lacking energy throughout the day.
  • Start your day with exercise and lead an active lifestyle. Physical activity promotes the production of endorphins, which have a positive effect on a person’s overall emotional background.
  • Find yourself a hobby. A person without interests is a limited person who never realizes his potential. We advise you to find a hobby that will allow you to open up and relax mentally.

Bribe yourself

Money talks, people! A 2009 study by behavioral economist Dr. Gary Charness found that you can double your gym membership by paying $100.

Don't have an extra $100? Try Pact, an app that pools other users' money and then pays (or fines) based on their progress. Cheating, by the way, doesn't work because the app uses GPS and images to check your actions.

For work-related projects, you can use 21Habit, where you promise $21 for a 21-day commitment. Every successful day earns you $1, and for every unproductive day you lose $1 to one of their chosen charities. This app is perfect for those occasional tasks and critical projects you keep putting off, like starting your own blog, reaching out to a potential mentor, or automating your finances.

Finally, don't beat yourself up if you really can't get yourself to work. This will not help, because the guilt that you impose on yourself only adds up to your mental image of a slacker.

Just breathe and try these methods one by one until it starts working. Don't pay much attention to your progress. Follow Dory's mantra - just keep swimming.

Reasons for reluctance to work

Let's look at the main reasons:

  • Most often, the main reason for reluctance to work is simple fatigue
    . The pace of modern life rarely allows for relaxation, and this comes with its own consequences. Trying to match the surrounding rhythm, a person begins to exhale, fatigue accumulates, and there are few opportunities for relaxation. The endless desire to do everything in time and fulfill the plan turns into a nervous breakdown and weakness of the immune system. This affects normal functioning.
  • Laziness
    becomes a serious obstacle to fulfilling responsibilities and implementing plans. It rarely appears suddenly, often forming at an early age. It is inherent in almost everyone, but its consequences will not be too destructive if you learn to fight it. If you let it take over, then the work will go slowly, and only serious motivation can change something.
  • Endless stress
    has a negative impact, and it is more difficult for a person to force himself to work. They have similar effects to fatigue, but are more difficult to combat. Stress can result not only in a reluctance to work, but also leads to apathy, neuroses, and depression.

Interesting resources for finding a job

Especially for those who want to open up to new things, I’m posting tips on finding an unexpected job:

  • internship base,
  • vacancies and internships for students,
  • group of vacancies for creative people (Moscow),
  • work and volunteering abroad,
  • extras in Moscow,
  • various vacancies in St. Petersburg,
  • list of Telegram chats by profession.

If you are interested in the possibility of self-employment on the Internet, but do not know where to start, we will answer all your questions in the “Start in Freelancing” course.

It will be interesting to read in the comments your experience of looking for a job, especially with an unexpected result. Always glad to receive feedback! See you!

Just the thought of the office brings me to tears.

Forcing yourself to go to a place you hate tomorrow is pure torture. This situation is not common, but if thinking about work already causes sharp negative feelings that lead to hysteria, then this is a reason to use the services of a psychologist.

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But first it’s worth finding out the reasons. There may be several of them:

  1. Contact with society is uncomfortable. Try to find a position where communication with people is not required.
  2. Conflict with the team. Then you should learn to express your own opinion and fight for rights. However, if the case moves from one organization to another along with you, this is a reason to think about what in your behavior causes such a reaction.
  3. Uncertainty. Increase your self-esteem. Try to communicate with others more often, develop these skills.
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