Find the Motivation to Get Things Done  

| 3 min read

Man writing out his to-do list
We all have good days and bad days when it comes to being productive and knocking out that to-do list. But sometimes, you just feel … stuck.
That feeling and lack of motivation can put a strain on your mental health. The secret to being productive every day is in your ability to determine how your time breaks down, set goals that best utilize the time you have available, and know when you need to step back and take a break before burnout sets in.
“Motivation can be elusive at times. Taking the first step and getting started on a task is often the hardest part,” said Beth Ryan, regional clinical director at New Directions Behavioral Health, a company that provides behavioral health services to most Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members. “But there is a difference between feeling temporarily unmotivated and experiencing depression. If you have lost interest in doing things you used to enjoy, you should reach out to a behavioral health professional to help you start feeling like yourself again.”
  • Recognize the value of long-term and short-term planning. If you tackle all your work in one day, don’t expect it to be the best quality you can produce. By using short-term and long-term planning, you can break larger projects into manageable tasks and help move yourself closer to your goals each day.
  • Prioritize your tasks. Set your goals and prioritize them into a manageable list of tasks. Make sure your short-term goals are challenging enough to keep the momentum moving forward and keep the long-term goals within reach.
  • Focus on getting organized. Organization is crucial to your success. Avoid clutter, keep your work together and avoid getting bogged down in the details that slow your progress.
  • Make a point to manage your time. It’s always better to tackle the difficult tasks while your energy is at its peak. Save the easier tasks for when you start to feel fatigued. Learn to take short breaks to give yourself a chance to recharge and keep an eye out for the warning signs of burnout.
  • Make the most of your leisure time. You need time for recreation – to recreate yourself – so that you can tackle your responsibilities with a renewed vigor. If you work hard, play hard. With the right balance, your leisure time can make you more productive.
If you’re still struggling with productivity or performance at work, check in on your mental health. Consider talking with a licensed mental health professional about whatever challenges you may be facing — big or small.
You may want to ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a mental or behavioral health specialist or use the Find a Doctor search feature on to locate behavioral health professionals, including psychologists, social workers and professional counselors, in your area. You don’t need to be a Blue Cross member to use the search feature. Also, some Blue Cross members have a behavioral health number on the back of their member ID card that they can call for help.
Photo credit: Fresh Splash
Sources: New Directions Behavioral Health; Life Advantages – Author Delvina Miremadi ©2020

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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