Lapses in motivation and how to boost it

By Eleanor Holmes

Lapses in motivation and how to boost it Brighter Life Therapy

Motivation is the internal mechanism that pushes us forward with our goal-orientated behaviours. However, from time time, we all experience lapses in motivation. During these lapses, it can seem difficult to carry out our usual tasks, especially when confronted with a long list of things to complete.

Whether related to work, our social life, engaging in hobbies, or something as simple as getting out of bed, a loss of motivation can be debilitating. But why do we lose it? And how can we regain it again?

Causes of lapses in motivation

  • Mental health issues: Mental health issues can certainly exacerbate a loss of motivation. For example, those who have depression or low mood may experience this in particular, as it is an acknowledged symptom. This makes very simple tasks feel like a mountain to execute.
  • Fatigue: Sometimes, being unmotivated occurs through tiredness. Although it is a simplistic explanation, it can be difficult to overcome, as the more stressed you are, the harder it can be to rest.
  • Lack of specificity: If there is a lack of clear information regarding a certain task, we may avoid starting the task altogether. We are more likely to engage in tasks we feel comfortable doing, which can depend on the clarity around the task.
  • Poor self-confidence: Our beliefs regarding our ability to complete a task play a part in our motivation to carry it out. We may try to avoid uncomfortable feelings associated with being unable to carry out a task to a high standard. We may, therefore, avoid doing it at all.
  • Task difficulty: This is strongly connected to our confidence. We may feel unmotivated to give it a shot if a task is deemed too difficult.

How can we boost and regain it again?

Loss of motivation can be very uncomfortable, so it is important to find ways to help reestablish it. However, it is a myth that we must wait for a big surge of motivation to get going again. In fact, taking small steps can make a world of difference by creating a spark!

  • Five minute rule: This is a very simple technique that can help get you started. Set a timer to complete a task for five minutes. When it goes off, decide whether to do another five minutes (and so on) or stop there. Either way you may at least achieve five minutes of work (which is better than nothing!) or find yourself completing a lot more by repeating the five minutes again and again!
  • Enjoyable or simple tasks: If you’re finding it hard to do anything at all, try starting with enjoyable tasks. They can be as simple as having a bath or reading a chapter of a book. This way you can work towards the tasks that are harder.
  • Rest/enough sleep: The most straightforward way to help with fatigue is to ensure you are well rested. Try to stick to a regular sleep routine, avoid using electronic devices before bed, and not to nap in the day.
  • Exercise mindfulness: Feeling overwhelmed when faced with too much to do is common. It can be difficult to even know where to start. Mindfulness helps ground you and allows things to seem more manageable. For tips on ho to be mindful, you can read our blog by clicking here.
  • Breaking tasks into manageable goals: With mammoth projects, it can be tricky to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This encourages a defeatist mindset. If the project is broken down enough into chunks of smaller tasks, it becomes much easier to tackle and overcome. It may also help boost your self-confidence!

Can Brighter Life Therapy help?

Sometimes these techniques are not quite enough. If a loss of motivation has occurred following a mental health dip, it may mean that mental health interventions are required. Once your mental health is back on track, you may find you feel more motivated again. Brighter Life Therapy provides fast access to CBT and counselling treatment, which you can read about here. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0118 40 50 108 or by emailing

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