Stuck in a rut? Just can’t find the energy to keep going? Frustrated because nothing seems to be working out? We’ve all been there. We run into a seemingly insurmountable wall and it knocks the motivation right out of us.
But the important question is, how can you revive the spark?
1. Find some solvable problems
Your lack of motivation is most likely because you ended up with a problem, or a set of problems, that you just can’t solve. Over a period of time, this saps your energy, your determination. One quick fix is to let go of your annoying conundrums and find something you can actually complete. A problem simple enough to not tax you, but interesting or useful enough to make tackling it worthwhile. You’d be surprised what it can do for your confidence.
2. Clean up
Our surroundings affect us at both a conscious and a subconscious level. If you’re all out of energy, try to cut out the clutter. Clear up your work table, your bedroom, your kitchen counter—whatever it is, if it’s dirt or untidy, fix it. In the process, you’ll find your mind becomes lighter, as if you’ve cleaned out the trash in there too.
3. Hit the gym
Sometimes, you just need to find a way to work out your frustrations. Physical exercise can help you let off a little steam. (And of course, focusing on your body and rhythmic motions can take the load off your mind too.) Go to the gym and lift a few weights, or maybe jog around your neighborhood or take a swim, depending on your tastes.
Don’t underestimate the power of music. When work or life leaves you completely listless, try taking a short break to listen to a few of your favorite tracks. I’d advise starting off with something soothing, to relax your tired brain, and then moving on to something more upbeat, something that inspires to get off your chair and get things done. (Google inspirational music, or epic music. You can thank me later.)
Hit up your best friends and ask if they want to do something fun. Again, what this does is give you a break from your worries and your woes. Lively conversation, maybe a nice dinner outside, a really good movie—all of these help rejuvenate the self. And on top of that, having company can take your mind off whatever it was that drained you to begin with. You can also talk it out, and your friends or your family can give you valuable perspectives (and maybe even solutions).
Sometimes you end up stuck because you’re working alone. Having someone to compete with in a constructive manner can help. This means that you’re not trying to drag each other down just to get ahead—instead, you’re both trying to do better, and don’t mind bouncing ideas back and forth.
Trust me, done right, this can really get your creative and problem-solving juices going. As an aside, even if competition isn’t an option for what you’re working on, just competing in something simple can help rekindle the spark, much like finding simple problems to solve does.
7. Take a vacation
And then there are times when none of these easy solutions don’t cut it. It’s time to unplug and take at least a few days off entirely to go somewhere else. This helps in a lot of ways: One, the very act of travelling can take your mind off things—it’ll be too busy processing all the sights and sounds. Two, going to a new place, a new environment, is like a souped-up version of cleaning up your surroundings. And finally, taking a longer break gives you enough time to slowly and steadily build up your morale.