How to Have a Productive Day When You Just Aren't In the Mood

Just about no one feels like going to work every day, even when you love what you do. Sometimes you just want a day off. When you work at home that’s often possible, but it’s not always a good idea if you’re serious about earning a living. How can you push yourself to have a productive work at home day when you’re really not in the mood to work?

Do a quick work out.

Get your body moving and you may feel better about getting to work. A quick walk around the block or a bit of time on any exercise equipment you may own (I have a Total Gym that has come in handy at times) can improve your mood. A bit of exercise can satisfy that need to feel as though you’re procrastinating, yet make you more productive in the long run.

Take days off regularly.

Don’t try to work seven days a week, every week. There may be times that this is necessary, but it shouldn’t be your life. Take time off every week, especially when you can do things with your family.

Write a to do list.

A to do list can help you quite a bit when you aren’t quite in the mood to work. Use it to guide your day’s work, so you have no doubt about what you most need to get done that day.

Break big tasks into smaller ones to make it easier to check things off. It’s easier to be productive you if continue to see that you’ve made progress. If a task is too big, you may not feel like you’re getting enough done when in fact you’ve done quite a bit.

Take breaks.

Taking regular breaks from work is something you should do even when you are in the mood to work. A break refreshes your mind, and you may get more done with breaks than you would without breaks.

Get inspired.

What inspires you to work? What do you hope to achieve in the long run? Think about why your work matters to you, then get to work.

Tell someone else what you plan to get done today.

Sometimes internal motivation just isn’t enough. You need to have an external push to get things going. Tell a friend or family member what you’re going to get done, post your goal on your Facebook wall, or otherwise tell someone what you’re going to get done today. Knowing that others expect you to reach a particular goal can give you that extra push. Who wants to explain why you didn’t reach that goal you shared? Just don’t waste too much of the day updating people on your progress.

Start with a small job.

What’s one of the little things you need to get done, something not all that overwhelming? Maybe just a 2-5 minute job. If you’re having trouble getting in the mood for work in general, it may help to do some small thing, insignificant in itself, that will get you to do any work at all.

Remind yourself why you’re working at home.

Sure, you know why you’re working at home, but do you really think about that reason or just take it for granted? Inspire yourself by thinking about why you do what you do.

Think positively about your work day.

Yeah, you’re not in the mood to work. Reason doesn’t matter, it’s just the way you feel. It’s a negative thought process all too easy to fall into.

Change it around. Think positively about your upcoming work day and how productive you’re going to be. Then take action.