Organisation and Productivity

How To Get Into A Productive Mood When You’re Not Feeling It

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Sometimes I just don’t feel productive, and I can’t get myself to get on with things. It all feels like too much effort and I’m not in the mood. Do you get days like that too?

It’s totally okay and normal to feel like that sometimes, and often it’s a sign that we need a break. It’s good to honour that if we possibly can, by having a restful day. That way, we stand a better chance of coming back energised and productive the next day.

Unfortunately, however, there are occasions when we just don’t have time to be feeling unproductive! Sometimes we really need to get things done, for example, we might have a deadline to complete some work. In these cases, we can’t afford to take a break – not just yet anyway.

That’s where this blog post comes in. I’m going to be sharing some ways to get into a productive mood when you’re feeling unproductive or unmotivated, in order to push through and get things done.

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How To Get Into A Productive Mood When You’re Not Feeling It

Have the food or snacks you’re thinking of

Sometimes, I am feeling unproductive because I can’t stop thinking about food. If you’re thinking about food while you’re trying to work, you won’t be as productive because you’ll be constantly tempted to go and get a snack. Get this out of your system by going and having that snack you are craving! Then you can set to work feeling satisfied and energised.

Alternatively, you could use your snack cravings to your benefit by setting up a reward system. Allow yourself a snack after every 20 or 30 minutes of work you do. The prospect of a delicious reward will give you the boost you need to get started, and then your productivity should start to flow.

Make multiple drinks at once

I’m in the habit of drinking a lot of water throughout the day. This is a healthy habit to have, but it does mean I sometimes interrupt myself in the flow of work because I want to go and get a drink. When I’m in an unproductive mood, these interruptions only make things worse as I find it harder to get back into the flow.

A solution to this is to make multiple drinks at one time, and bring them all to your desk or wherever you are working. You can use bottles or flasks to keep your drinks hot or cold. This way, you can sip whenever you feel thirsty, without having to interrupt your work to go and get a drink.

A woman wearing a blue and white striped shirt, holding her laptop in her arms and a flask of water in her hand.
Photo by Bluewater Sweden on Unsplash

Put some music on

When I’m feeling unproductive but I need to get things done, I find that music can really help to tether me to my workspace. This is especially true if I listen through headphones because it makes it physically harder for me to get up from my desk.

Personally, I find that fast, upbeat music keeps me focused better than slow, relaxing music. The fast tempo energises me and makes me feel more productive, whereas slow music tends to make me feel sleepy and lazy. Many people find that music without lyrics is less distracting, and this is generally true for me too. However, it can be harder to find upbeat, motivating music without lyrics, so I often go for songs with lyrics to give me a motivation boost and then I switch to lyric-free music once I’m in the flow.

Attend to what’s on your mind first

Often when we are feeling unproductive, it’s because there’s something else on our minds. Sometimes it’s obvious, or sometimes it’s hiding just at the edge of our consciousness. Next time you are feeling unproductive, try to notice whether there is anything else weighing on your mind. If possible, attend to that thing first to get it off your mind. Then you might find yourself in the mood to work and be productive because your mind will feel lighter.

A woman sitting in front of a laptop at a table by a window. She is staring off to the side and looks distracted.
Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Just make a start!

This is easier said than done when you are in an unproductive mood, but it’s worth making that push because getting started truly is the hardest part. Even if you don’t feel productive, you will often find yourself getting into a productive mood once you start.

One tip for getting started is to use a timer. Set it for, say, 10 minutes and tell yourself you only have to work for 10 minutes and then you can have a break, snack or reward. By the time the 10 minutes are up, you might be getting into your work and not feel you need a break yet after all.

Related post: 15 Ways To Use Your Time Wisely and Have A Super Productive Day

How do you get into a productive mood?

Do you ever find yourself feeling unproductive when you really need to get things done? Have you tried any of the tips in this blog post, or do you have any other tips you could share? Let me know in the comments below!

I hope this blog post will be helpful next time you need to get yourself into a productive mood. But always remember – it’s better to take a break if you have time to. This is a much better solution in the long run because you will truly feel rested, and your unproductivity is less likely to catch up with you at a later date.

I’ll leave you with that thought – stay well-rested and have a productive day!

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How To Get Into A Productive Mood When You're Not Feeling It


  1. I really appreciate these ideas and tips; I will give them a go when I feel a productivity slump coming — thanks!

    1. Sophie says:

      I’m glad you found these ideas helpful! Thanks for reading 🙂

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