3 Simple Ways to Spend the Workday


We’ve all had those days when we just don’t want to work and can think of a million other things we’d rather be doing.

Please, no more meetings! No more boring conference calls! No more spreadsheets and flowchart presentations! We just want to go home, go back to bed and take a nap with our dog. We feel unmotivated and don’t like to think about the responsibilities that await us at the office.

However, there are bills to pay and careers to make, so we do our best to get through the day. On the (rare) occasions when you simply need to get through the rest of the workday when you’re not feeling motivated, here are some suggestions:

Focus only on the most crucial work tasks

Businesswoman on a laptop sitting at her desk and focusing on her most important tasks at work

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Looking at piles of files on your desk and tons of emails waiting for your response can feel overwhelming. Check your calendar and determine the things that need your immediate attention. Review what’s most urgent, make a list of actions to accomplish by the end of the day, and resolve any major issues first.

Then, focus on the “quick hits” before tackling your more important tasks. Breaking your workload into smaller, more manageable tasks will help you feel more energized throughout the day. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way home!

Take a break

Young professional man drinking coffee and taking a break from work

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Sometimes you just need to step away from your desk and change your perspective if you’re not feeling motivated at work.

Leave the office to get some fresh air. Stand up and stretch. Listen to music. Have coffee, tea or a light snack. Make a phone call or send a text message to a friend. Check the score of this afternoon’s baseball game. Create your shopping list. Order that jacket you’ve been eyeing for a month.

Take at least 15 minutes to clear your head of anything “work” related before you buckle down and survive for up to five hours.

Plan something fun to do after work

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Planning something you can look forward to can really help you manage your lack of motivation.

Plan a dinner with a friend. Find out if your gym has a new class scheduled that evening. Look for local activities to visit that evening. Register to attend this networking event mentioned by a colleague. Buy a ticket to the movie you’ve been wanting to see for months.

Knowing there’s something awesome planned after work gives you something to look forward to at the end of the day. This will motivate you to complete your work and allow you to reward yourself later!

Remember, for one reason or another, everyone from the CEO to the intern has had a bad day where they don’t feel motivated at work.

So the next time you arrive at your desk in the morning after a bad night’s sleep, or you come back to your desk after a meeting that drained all your energy, or you argue with your coworker about how hard to be with he’s talking on the phone, take a breath and think about what you could do to help yourself get through the rest of the work day. It will be 5 p.m. before you know it!

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This article was originally published on an earlier date.

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