Causes Of Lack Of Motivation And How To Overcome Them

Motivation can be a powerful force that often drives us to achieve our goals and aspirations. However, individuals may experience lapses in motivation that leave them feeling uninspired and lacking the drive to pursue their dreams. Boredom, stress, burnout, feeling overwhelmed, and a lack of clear goals can lead many people to a lack of motivation. Setting small, achievable goals, practicing self-care, changing your environment, and turning to others for inspiration can be helpful in regaining motivation. In some cases, underlying mental health issues may be at least partially responsible for a lack of motivation. If this may be the case for you, working with a licensed therapist in person or online can be beneficial.

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Common causes of lack of enthusiasm

Burnout: Burnout is generally a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that can be caused by prolonged and excessive life and/or work stress; it often develops over time. It can lead to a lack of achievement motivation , as individuals may not have the energy or drive to tackle new tasks or projects. Burnout may occur in any area of life, such as work, school, or personal relationships.

Stress: Stress is often a normal response to challenging situations, but it may negatively impact your motivation when it becomes chronic. Stress can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and fatigue, which may make it difficult to find the motivation to tackle even the most basic tasks.

Boredom: Boredom can be one of the major causes of  feeling unmotivated , especially when individuals are stuck in a routine or sense that their current tasks or projects lack meaning or purpose. A lack of stimulation and excitement can lead to apathy and disinterest, which may make it challenging to find the motivation to complete tasks.

Feeling overwhelmed: Overwhelm can be caused by several factors, such as a heavy workload, a lack of support, or personal problems. When individuals feel overwhelmed, they may feel unable to cope with the demands placed on them, potentially leading to a lack of motivation and a sense of hopelessness.

Lack of clear goals: Having clear and specific goals may be an answer to having motivation. A lack of clear goals can lead to confusion and uncertainty, potentially making it challenging to find the drive to pursue your aspirations. Finding the motivation to take action can be difficult without a sense of direction or purpose.

Understanding the root cause of your lack of motivation can help you identify the best approach to regaining motivation.

How to identify when you are experiencing a lack of motivation

Recognizing when you are experiencing a lack of motivation may seem like an impossible task, but there can be some simple signs to indicate your current state. These may include the following:

  • Difficulty getting started on tasks or projects
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of energy and enthusiasm
  • Disinterest in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Negative self-talk and self-doubt
  • Increased absenteeism or tardiness
  • Strategies For Overcoming Lack Of Motivation

Setting small and achievable goals may help break down larger tasks and projects into manageable chunks, which can restore a sense of control and accomplishment. This feeling of regained control can provide a sense of purpose and motivation to continue working toward larger goals. 

A man and woman sit together on the couch in a brightly lit room. The blonde woman who is in deep thought rests her chin on her palm, not facing the man, while the man with a content expression looks down at his phone.

Finding inspiration from others is also likely to be a powerful motivator. Reading about the achievements of others, listening to motivational speeches, or talking to people who have overcome similar challenges may provide inspiration and a sense of perspective.

Changing your environment can be an effective way to overcome a lack of motivation. This may include reorganizing your workspace, taking a walk outside, or working in a different location. A change of scenery should help to break up the monotony and stimulate the brain.

If a lack of motivation persists, it may be beneficial to seek the help of a licensed professional. A mental health professional can help you identify the underlying causes of your lack of motivation and provide strategies and support to overcome it.

Benefits of online therapy

For those who are lacking motivation, especially when it may be brought on by stress, burnout, or mental health issues, online therapy can be a useful remedy.  Online therapy is often more convenient and available because it empowers people to get the help they deserve from the convenience and comfort of their own homes. Additionally, it can eliminate the need to take time off from work or other obligations by allowing individuals to schedule sessions outside of traditional office hours.

Effectiveness of online therapy

As online therapy is still considered somewhat new, many people question whether it’s as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy. The body of research concerning online therapy’s effectiveness has been growing, and this study states that there’s generally no difference between the efficacy of online therapy and in-person therapy. Either option can be an excellent tool for those who want to overcome their lack of motivation with the help of a licensed therapist. 

People have different motivation levels and even people with a high degree of intrinsic motivation may feel a lack of motivation in certain circumstances or stages of life. Learning to cope, even excel, when lacking motivation can further your personal development. Motivation at work may diminish for individuals working from home. And motivation for life may wane for those who spend a long time on social media. If you lose motivation easily and wish to increase motivation, working with a professional therapist may help.

  • Self-care activities, such as exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep, may improve energy levels and reduce stress, which can make it easier to find motivation.
  • Finding inspiration from people who have overcome similar challenges or listening to motivational speeches may provide perspective and serve as a powerful motivator.
  • Changing your environment by reorganizing your workspace or walking outside can stimulate the brain.
  • Online therapy may benefit those lacking motivation as it can be more available and convenient than traditional in-person therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What factors affect motivation?

Many factors can affect motivation, and these factors tend to vary depending on the activity motivation is needed for.

What are signs of lack of ambition?

Signs of a lack of ambition may include boredom, procrastination, and laziness, among others.

How do you fix an absence of ambition?

To resolve an absence of ambition, it can be helpful to identify the reason why you want or need to complete the task at hand. It may be necessary to address any underlying mental health issues as well.

Is lack of ambition a mental illness?

While a lack of ambition on its own is generally not considered to be a mental illness, it can be a symptom of certain mental health disorders.

Why do people lose motivation?

It can be normal not to feel motivated all the time. A lack of motivation may be related to unmet needs, which is why self-care can be helpful in regaining motivation. It’s also possible a loss of motivation may be related to mental health issues.

Why do I have no ambition?

There can be many reasons you don’t have ambition. You may be bored, overwhelmed, stressed, or experiencing burnout. It’s possible a lack of clear goals is keeping you from achieving your ambition. Mental health issues may also impact your sense of ambition.

Can anxiety cause no motivation?

An absence of motivation can be a common anxiety symptom. If your lack of motivation is negatively impacting your life, it can be helpful to work with a licensed therapist to address the root of the issue.

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Motivation Essay | Essay on Motivation for Students and Children in English

February 13, 2024 by Prasanna

Motivation Essay:   Motivation is important in life because it helps us gain valued results like personal growth, better well-being, enhanced performance, or a sense of confidence. Motivation is a road to improve our way of feeling, thinking, and behaving. The advantages of motivation are seen in our way of living life.

You can read more  Essay Writing  about articles, events, people, sports, technology many more.

Long and Short Essays on Motivation for Students and Kids in English

If you are searching for an essay on motivation, you will find below two different articles that you can use to complete your class assignments. Here is the best long essay on motivation for the students of classes 7, 8, 9, and 10. Short essay on Motivation is helpful for students of classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6.

Long Essay on Motivation 500 Words in English

Motivation is an essential factor that changes positive thought into instant action. It switches a great idea into action and can undoubtedly affect the world around you. However, not all are born with motivation. People sometimes have disbelief in themselves; they often say, “I can’t do that” or “the timing is not right.” Being demotivated means living a life as a worn-out machine. Your life will become dull without any spark. So, to gain inner peace and satisfaction in life, you must always stay motivated.

Motivation is a force to push you closer toward your dream. If Steve Jobs lacked the motivation to launch Apple, you would not get an iPhone or iPad. It gives you a purpose to live you with a forever smile on the face. Thus, realizing and working on your self-motivation skills will make you capable of taking control of different aspects of life.

The critical elements of self-motivation are resilience and optimism. The former will help you bounce back during difficult times, whereas later, you will show you a brighter side ahead. This way, you will be able to control your emotions that are holding you back.

You need to locate the right motivation for you to get your spark back. You can find motivation from a wide range of effective sources, for example, from quotes, books, videos, parents, teachers, and even nature. Ultimately, you’ll learn rational thinking to overcome negative emotions when you are motivated in life.

Motivation also helps in making you active in life. You will struggle more to fulfill your goals. A self-motivated person always discovers a way to understand the issues hindering the path to complete a task. Moreover, they do not require other people’s support to accomplish a challenging task close to them.

Hence, motivation is one of the vital factors to be successful in any phase of your life. Whether personal or professional events both demand a person to stay positive to achieve the goals. As a motivated person, you will always try to push your limits and develop your performance level every day.

Moreover, you will continuously thrive on giving your best during every task. You will see that you remain dedicated and progressive towards the objectives of life. Lastly, your dreams and goals will come true as you always aimed.

So, always stay motivated in life without losing hope. When you stay motivated each day, it’ll push you closer to your goals. Learn to remain calm when you go through any hard day. It’s an excellent habit and must be applied in life. As a result, all your negative thoughts will start fading away.

Essay on Motivation

Short Essay on Motivation 200 Words in English

No doubt, a person goes through many types of difficulties in life. Some people lose hope and think of quitting. But is this the right step? Absolutely not. Failing once does not mean there is nothing left in life. There is always a way to fight back the hard times to achieve what you desire.

Whether you’re a school-going kid or a business owner, you lose the track and feel demotivated somewhere in life. But never lose hope, you can work towards your betterment by regaining your motivation.

If anytime in life, you feel hard to fight back and lose motivation, read positive quotes, or watch motivational videos online. You can even put the inspirational quotes on your walls. All you need is positivity and motivation in life. You’ll see soon after that you start tackling challenges one step at a time. Slowly you will reach the destination of success and will feel proud of yourself.

We will typically do our best when we have enough motivation. Motivation makes us do things correctly and perform well. You have higher odds of succeeding when you are fully inspired and put effort. It’ll help you give your best during every situation of life. So always work on your motivation.

10 Lines on Motivation Essay

  • Motivation is significant for the overall growth of your mind as well as personality.
  • It helps you focus on your goals based on values and skills.
  • Motivation is a necessary resource to improve and work productively during changing times as well as threats.
  • It boosts your desire to achieve a meaningful life goal.
  • You can listen to speeches, videos, read books, or quotes from inspirational people to rework on your lost motivation.
  • You will learn to fight your fears and negative thoughts when you are motivated.
  • Motivation helps professionals to be positive and happy while working hard to achieve goals.
  • When you are motivated, you learn to organize and prioritize your life.
  • Motivation help students to concentrate and work hard in the class.
  • It awakens the sense of meaning in life.

Essay About Motivation

FAQ’s on Motivation Essay

Question 1. Why do we need motivation in life?

Answer: Motivation is vital because it helps you achieve your goals and become the happiest person by never losing hope.

Question 2. What does motivation teach us?

Answer: You will learn to be self-confident, patient, optimistic, skills, time management, and fighting against your fears.

Question 3. How can I regain motivation in life?

Answer: You can read inspirational books, listen to seminars, and put inspirational quotes on the wall or desk to stay motivated in life.

Question 4. What are the benefits of staying motivated?

Answer: Motivation gives job satisfaction, boosts student engagement, improves relationships, and makes you successful.

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How to Overcome Burnout and Stay Motivated

  • Rebecca Knight

losing motivation essay

What to do if your work is sapping too much energy.

Even if you love your job, it’s common to feel burnt out from time to time. Perhaps you just wrapped up a big project and are having trouble mustering motivation for the next one. It could be that your home life is taking up more of your energy than usual. Or maybe you’re just bored. What’s the best way to recharge? Are some forms of rejuvenation better than others? How do you know if what you’re feeling is ordinary burnout or something else, like chronic dissatisfaction?

  • RK Rebecca Knight is a journalist who writes about all things related to the changing nature of careers and the workplace. Her essays and reported stories have been featured in The Boston Globe, Business Insider, The New York Times, BBC, and The Christian Science Monitor. She was shortlisted as a Reuters Institute Fellow at Oxford University in 2023. Earlier in her career, she spent a decade as an editor and reporter at the Financial Times in New York, London, and Boston.

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  • How to Study When You’ve Lost Motivation: 8 Sharp Tips to Get Back on Track

losing motivation essay

We asked a former Oxford Royale student ( Oxford Summer Courses alumni) about their approach to managing motivation:

In my opinion, two evils conspire to make revision-time miserable: the first is the stress of approaching exams, and the sense that there is an overwhelming amount of information to learn in an ever-dwindling period of time. Even spending time with friends, intended for relaxation, can just be a reminder of the exams you’ll be sitting together and the work you ought to be doing. The second is the boredom; the feeling of oppression that comes with the knowledge that the next week, or month, or six weeks, will be consumed entirely with the business of studying.

Of course, there will be days when revision is actually quite enjoyable – when you feel like you’re achieving a lot every day, piecing the different parts of your subjects together, and finally understanding things that have eluded you for months. But equally, the majority of us have just as many bad days, when we’re studying a particularly difficult topic, progress is slow or we just can’t focus. And on those days, the classic study tips seem totally redundant: personally, being ‘helpfully’ advised to make flash-cards or take regular breaks while struggling to understand the very first thing about differentiation has in the past made me feel positively murderous.

So, here are some quirky study tips, new ideas to boost your concentration and motivation as a last resort, when everything seems impossible and you’re dangerously close to just giving up and watching old episodes of Breaking Bad all afternoon. Of course, they won’t all work for you, but trying new things never hurts, especially when everything seems lost.

Remember, sometimes it can be helpful to have some group of peers to study with. I was fortunate enough to develop my group while at a UK summer school rather than studying everything on your own.

Concentrating and remembering

An old teacher of mine swore by a very particular (and in my opinion, totally mad) study habit. She said that if you read something through three times, then at the end of the third time, you would know all of the information it contains perfectly. For her, it worked – she could sit quietly reading a chapter of a textbook, and then after the third time through, answer pretty much any question about it. For me, this is the worst possible way to revise. My concentration span is that of a particularly dim goldfish. I can sit for hours, re-reading the same piece of text up to five, six, or seven times, without ever once taking in what it says. Sure, my eyes will be drifting over the words, but my mind will be elsewhere entirely – thinking about what I’m going to have for lunch, what happened on last night’s Made in Chelsea, what I’m going to revise next, or even how terrified I am about the exam. And even if I do manage to remember the general gist of the passage, by the next day any specific details have totally disappeared. If I’m going to have any chance of taking something in and remembering it for longer than ten minutes, I have to make learning an active process. Here are some ideas to do this:

Set yourself questions

In subjects like History, English, Religious Studies, Psychology, or Biology, where you’ve got to read and learn long swathes of text, make learning active by turning information into questions. Break a text down into chunks of one page, or roughly 500 words each, and for each part, write out five questions that you would ask if you were an examiner testing students on that part. Next, write out the answers. Take your time over this process – your questions should be careful and well thought-out, isolating the most important elements of a topic. You could even put your questions on flash cards, and use them to revise from in the future.

Teach each other

In groups of two, three, or four, break a subject (or some of a subject) down into parts, each go off and learn a part thoroughly, and then come back together and teach each other what you’ve learned. The ‘teacher’ could prepare a slide-show and a handout, explain how to answer past paper questions, and ask the other members of the group to work through some questions together. This method of revision works brilliantly for a few reasons: first, it’s active, forcing you to confront problems rather than skipping over them, and transform information into a form someone else will understand; second, it’s fun, and social, giving you a break from the solitary confines of your spot in the library. It can be adjusted to suit pretty much any subject: in Economics or History, you could each take an essay question, prepare a model answer and discuss it with the group; in a literature exam, you could provide readings and summaries of books or poems; in Maths or a science, teach a whole topic.

Ditch the books altogether

Some students do exceedingly well in exams without ever making revision notes or even reading through their books – instead, revision for them is a process of going through every past paper in existence, and answering all the questions there. Next, get hold of a mark scheme, read through the exemplary answers contained there, and work out how you’ve scored and where you’ve gone wrong. I used to use this method in subjects like Maths and Chemistry. My first efforts were always a total disaster, with scores in the forties and fifties – but I found it astonishing how many questions were repeated in slightly altered form from paper to paper, and how much I improved each time. What’s more, each time I would read through the answers on the mark scheme, I was learning information in the same way as I would from a text book, building confidence and becoming familiar with the particular demands of the paper – but it was easier to concentrate than if I’d used notes, because I was always comparing the answers there to my own efforts. What’s more, in my experience, if you puzzle over something and get it wrong, you’re likely to remember how to do it properly. Of course, with this system of revision it’s crucial to be alert to changes in the syllabus, and there is always a risk of missing out something important – but it’s a great way of livening up revision and can always be combined with other methods to make it more thorough. N.B. When practising, remember to keep to the amount of time you’ll have in an exam.

Try something new

There are radio shows and podcasts on basically everything these days. I revised for my Shakespeare exam at university by listening to a really useful podcast on iTunes – and a quick search confirms there are hundreds more geared towards IB, A-level, and GCSE exams. Don’t feel confined to those specifically for your course, though – you can learn new and interesting information that might boost your grade and give your exam an edge simply by searching for a topic you’re interested in. Downloading and listening to these will give you a fresh perspective, or a new way of understanding a topic – and in addition, is a more low-key method of revising – something you can do while you’re walking to school, sitting on the tube or relaxing in the evening.

Make something

I know a student who put everything she needed to know about Photosynthesis for IB Biology into a brilliant (but incredibly geeky) rap. And another student who made extravagant and actually quite beautiful posters, writing all the information she wanted to remember about World War Two on different parts of a map of Europe. If you’re especially creative, or learn well from seeing, speaking or doing, you can adapt this to suit how you learn – making acronyms, rhymes or posters – or even acting things out to remember them better.

Staying focused and motivated

Try working at a totally new time.

This is one for really desperate times, not to be used all year round: as you will see when you read on, if overused its natural conclusion is a descent into madness. When I’m having an essay crisis, or an exam is looming and I don’t feel prepared, I totally change my routine, and wake up at 3.30am to work or revise. I have real problems focusing in the evening – I find working after 6pm miserable and oppressive, and know that I work very slowly and inefficiently at that time. However, if I go to bed really early (say, 9pm), when I wake up in the small hours of the morning (and once I’ve had a very strong coffee) my brain is refreshed, and I can get loads done before the day has even properly started. What’s more, there are no possible distractions at that time of day – nothing to do, no one to meet for coffees, and Facebook slows to the merest of trickles. Plus, the feeling of intense smugness that being up and working while the rest of the world sleeps will only make you more productive. If you’re not a morning person, this one might not work for you – instead, try giving yourself a lie in, and then staying up a few hours later at night. And of course, make up the time you’ve missed in bed elsewhere.

Break it down

Now, many of you will undoubtedly be sick to death of being told to plan your revision. I personally don’t hold much love for study timetables: in my experience, they inevitably end up sitting over your desk, evilly mocking your ineptitude with each day that you get further and further behind the targets you set three weeks ago. On the other hand, though, without a sense of when everything will get learned, it’s easy to feel totally at sea with revision, with a creeping sense that you might not be learning things quickly or well enough, or that you may have missed something out. Unfortunately, then, they can be something of a necessary evil. However, one tip will make sure you keep pace with your timetable, and realise if you’ve set unrealistic goals, while also increasing your motivation and helping you stay in the library for that crucial extra few hours. Each day, break your revision down into chunks- say, at least ten. Once you’ve completed one chunk, give yourself a little reward: I have a friend who will buy a bag of Maltesers, and eat two after each chunk; another who watches one video on YouTube; a third who checks his Facebook for five minutes and a fourth who spends a few minutes punching a punch-bag! Make it a rule that before you leave the library at the end of the day, you’ve got to have completed the ten small tasks you have set yourself.

Plan daily exercise in groups

Annoyingly, for those of us who prefer an afternoon on the sofa with a movie to a walk or a game of tennis, it’s been proven a hundred times over: regular exercise boosts concentration. What’s more, whole days, weeks or even months spent in the library, working towards a single goal, with no distractions or social interaction are very bad for morale, efficiency and concentration. A great way to break revision up, see some human faces and get moving is to plan to do something active and fun once a day with friends. When I was revising for my IB, a group of us used to go swimming for an hour every day before dinner. This was a great social event (and a good chance to moan about all the work we were doing!), which gave us all something to plan our days around, and a chance to get outside and generally stay sane.

Have you got any unusual study tips that have helped you through desperate times?

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Learning At College Strategy Blog

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Why Students Lose Motivation In College

Motivation is an ongoing struggle for all college students, yet it’s the driver that allows them to get work done for their classes. At one point or another all students find that their motivation begins to flag, with some struggling just to get their work done. To some extent this variability in feeling motivated is normal, none of us can be at the top of our game at all times, and ordinary events in life can affect it. For example, students at northern colleges don’t relish the prospect of getting out of their warm bed during winter for an 8am class, especially when they have to trek across campus when the wind chill puts the temperature at minus 15 degrees. Also, students also begin to fatigue just past mid-term, so motivation can become a real struggle for the second half of the term. While these examples are temporary or situational factors, there are other things that can more pervasively hurt motivation.

Students can lose motivation in college for a variety of reasons, ranging from being unsure of what to pick for a major or disliking classes, to more serious conditions like anxiety and depression. They may also realize that they don’t like their college, have become socially alienated, or have never developed the self-discipline to tackle high workload times.

In general, things that college students say hurt their motivation include:

Uncertainty About A Major

Not being sure of what major to pick can really hurt motivation , and this can become worse the longer the student is in school. There always reaches a point where a student is forced to declare a major, since they run out of non-major classes to take, and this can make them feel even more pressure. What can help is for them to approach their school’s Career Center and ask about career testing, which can add clarity to what professional fields might fit them best.

Choosing The Wrong Major

Some students declare a major when they applied to a school as a freshman, only to later realize they don’t like it at all. I see this all the time with young men who pick a STEM field , especially engineering. The major can be too hard, too boring, or they otherwise chose the major for lack of knowing what else they wanted to do. For picking a major, examining the curriculum first can go a long way when trying to understand the level of difficulty, or whether the courses will sound interesting or not. Each class has a course description that can be read, and this can yield more information about the topics covered during a given class.

Not Liking Their school

It’s hard to stay motivated for classes when a student doesn’t like being at their college. When students pick a place to attend during high school they can often get caught up in the fancy names, but when they get there they realize that the school doesn’t fit them in one or more ways. They may feel that class sizes are too big, or realize that there are requirements to graduate like multiple semesters of a foreign language that they have no desire to do. At any time in college students can apply to transfer to another school, and much of the time the bulk of credits earned at one college will transfer to another.

Not Integrating In To Campus Socially

Getting to campus after the excitement of acceptance, then not making friends or otherwise having a hard time fitting in, can badly hurt a student’s motivation.  And an overall lack of social integration can leave them feeling alienated from everyone else, even with many other students. This is often true at larger colleges, where students report feeling “lost in a crowd” and not having a single friend. Smaller colleges tend to have a higher level of social engagement , so while it sounds counterintuitive, applying to a small school might help with a student’s social life therefore motivation.

Earning Bad Grades

Earning bad grades is a fast way to kill a student motivation, which then can lead to more bad grades, so the situation quickly compounds itself in their mind: They haven’t earned good grades from their efforts, so why make the effort if the result will always be bad? This type of thinking doesn’t allow the student to rebound from early bad grades, and can cause an entire semester to be lost. The antidote, of course, is to be serious about grades from the start, work hard, and earn their way to consistent good grades throughout the term that support their motivation.

Internal And External Motivation Factors

By examining what brings motivation, students can develop better insight in to what might hurt it or help it to grow. Out of the many possible things that motivate us, there is a broad rubric in to which we can break them down. All humans have internal ( intrinsic ) motivation , and external ( extrinsic ) motivation, both which drive behavior. The internal type includes our dreams, values, beliefs, wants, desires, hopes, and everything else inside that inspires us to keep moving forward in all walks of life. External motivators can include rules, expectations, social norms, and other factors that are outside of us. Gaining clarity about what motivates a student can come about from different sources, and usually requires some self-reflection to arrive at those insights.

Ways that people gain insight on their motivation:

Journaling is a technique that many people use, and it’s simply to keep a notebook with a daily record of thoughts, feelings, events, or other things that happen in your life. Students can deliberately explore parts of themselves, including what is important to them, what they would like to do in the future, and how they would like their life to be. This self-reflection process can hold some powerful insights in to one’s own behavior which can raise awareness and be a driving force to change bad habits.

Making lists of important goals for the future, and milestones to achieve them, can also be helpful to find the positive aspects of life that can underlie motivation. What would a student like to do when they complete their degree? What would they like your life to look like five years from now? Or what would they like to accomplish by the time they reach 40 years old? These types of questions always imply the needed steps to reach these goals, and help to solidify the reality that student life in the present has a deep connection to their future.

Constant renewal of motivation can happen when we actively work on motivation itself daily. Daily journaling, goal planning, and exploring what a student can do with a hard-earned degree after college can help to establish a forward-looking mindset that makes sense of all the hard work in the present. Look to outside sources as well, such as trends that they want to be part of, budding new industries or ideas, and creative projects that a student might like to be able to say “I would be excited to be part of that when I’m done with school.”

What Beats Motivation To Get Work Done

Is there something better than motivation to drive us to get work done? Yes, there is, and it’s more consistent: It’s called self-discipline . Self-discipline is what allows you to drag yourself out of bed even though you’re still tired, and it’s what makes you force yourself to go to the gym even though you’re not really “feeling it” on a particular day. Self-discipline means forcing yourself to do your work routines, to get yourself to the library when you aren’t thrilled about it, and it’s what makes you do all the things you know you must even though your motivation is low. In the times of poor motivation, self-discipline can keep us going, and by forcing yourself to stick to your work routines you will find yourself getting work done even when you don’t feel like it. Having shiny, happy, positive reasons for motivation is fine, but motivation can fail. When it does, one can rely on self-discipline to carry them through.

Notes on self-discipline:

Self-discipline means making yourself do things, even when you’re not really in the mood: To push yourself toward the goals that you’ve set for yourself. Even when it’s pouring down rain, you still go to class; and when everyone wants to have a fun weekend, you go to the library to study for that test on Monday because they want to get an “A.” Self-discipline is saying no to distractions, politely declining invitations, or telling friends you’ll catch up with them later. Keep in mind that no one ever regrets time away from fun things if they earn the top grades that they want.

Self-discipline doesn’t care much about thoughts, feelings, or temporary mood states, it only cares about getting things done . It takes the perspective of a cold indifference to what’s going on around you, and about the many possible “fun” things: It sees them as irrelevant then pushes you forward toward the future. When a student is acting with self-discipline, they’ll know it, because everything besides their goal becomes unimportant.

Just like the habits and routines that we build to be productive, self-discipline needs to be strengthened and cultivated as well. When students eliminate or leave distractions, when they say “no” when they have to work, and when they trek off alone to the library despite other things going on, these all exercise and build self-discipline. The more you do this, the stronger it will get, and the better payoff you’ll see in their grades.

More Serious Things That Can Affect Motivation

The things we’ve been talking about so far, at some level, can be controlled by the student to address their impact on motivation. For example, if a student is unhappy with their major, they can change it; or if they don’t like their school, they can transfer. But there are more serious issues that can have a pervasive effect on motivation, regardless of major, school, or anything else. Self-discipline will not work in the face of underlying issues that can affect motivation, and are outside of the student’s direct control.

More serious issues that can affect student motivation can include:

  • Many students attend college with a disability, and clinical depression can be one of them. It affects approximately 40% of U.S. adults at one point or another in their lives, and many students experience it even during high school. Depression can affect a student’s concentration, focus, energy levels, and motivation in the deepest ways. In fact, many students have reported not even getting out of bed for several days, which is actually a known symptom of depression. Clinical depression will need treatment since it can affect multiple classes plus the student’s  overall life functioning, and typically will not just resolve itself without intervention.

Thyroid Conditions

  • Thyroid conditions can mimic the symptoms of depression or other conditions, which in turn can hurt a student’s motiv ation. There are two general aspects of thyroid issues: Hyper-thyroidism, or an over-active thyroid, and hypo-thyroidism which means under-active. It’s the latter condition that can cause low energy, fatigue, and have an effect on concentration, focus, and motivation. Again, such conditions will need treatment, and these conditions can only be diagnosed by a physician.

Anxiety Issues

  • Anxiety occurs at high levels in college students on a good day since they’re constantly worried about tests, papers, and all of their other responsibilities. But anxiety can also reach proportions where it begins to interfere with a student’s life in a broad sense, and that’s a signal that it has become something more serious. Not being able to sleep, having panic attacks, or needing to leave situations due to racing thoughts, feelings of dread, or other negative internal states all indicate that the student may need treatment.

Discontinuing Prior Treatment

  • Many students attend college after having been treated for interpersonal or emotional issues during high school, yet they may discontinue their medication or psychotherapy just when they are hit with the stressful transition to college. This can cause them to experience a relapse in symptoms of depression, have an increase in anxiety, or face other issues that can indirectly or directly affect their motivation.   College has a way of magnifying any weakness that we have since the work responsibilities are high and the pace fast.  Ending important supports during this stressful time can impact motivation, which can then affect student grades.

Related Articles:

How To Stop Procrastinating In College, For Students

How To Study Effectively In College

Being Productive In College

losing motivation essay

Jeffrey Ludovici, M.A. is an Educational Consultant based in Pittsburgh, Pa.  He holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology, and has been helping students to reach graduation since 2001.  Jeff specializes in helping to uncover and address the reasons why students do poorly in college, and has helped many students to achieve their higher education goals.  He is also credentialed as a college Advisor, and works at the national level to help students across the U.S.

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What to Do When You Have No Motivation

Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

losing motivation essay

Verywell / Laura Porter

Whether you can’t get motivated to clean your house or you just aren’t feeling motivated to lose weight, a lack of motivation can be the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals.

When you have no motivation to complete a task (or even start one), consider the possible reasons why you’re struggling. Then, develop a plan to help motivate yourself to get going.

Keep in mind that not every strategy works for everyone—or in every situation. Perform some behavioral experiments to see which strategies best help you reach your goals.

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Act as If You Feel Motivated

You may be able to trick yourself into feeling motivated by changing your behavior. Act as if you felt motivated, and your actions may change your emotions.

For example, rather than sit on the couch in your pajamas all day waiting for motivation to strike, get dressed and get moving. You might find that taking action will increase your motivation, which makes it easier to keep going. 

So ask yourself, “What would I be doing right now if I felt motivated?” Consider what you’d be wearing, how you’d be thinking, and what actions you’d be taking. Then, do these things, and see if your motivation level increases.

Everything You Need to Know About Motivation

Argue the opposite.

When you’re struggling with motivation, you’ll likely come up with a long list of reasons why you shouldn’t take any action. You might think, “It’ll be too hard,” or, “I’ll never get it done anyway.” These types of thoughts will keep you stuck.

Try arguing the opposite. When you think you’re going to fail, argue all the reasons why you might succeed. Or when you think you can’t finish a job, list all the evidence that shows you’ll be able to complete the task.

Arguing the opposite can help you see both ends of the spectrum. It can also remind you that an overly pessimistic outcome isn’t completely accurate.

There’s a chance that things might work out better than you expect. And you might find that developing a more balanced outlook will help you feel more motivated to try.

Practice Self-Compassion

You might think being hard on yourself is the key to getting motivated. But harsh self-criticism doesn’t work.

Research shows that self-compassion is actually much more motivating, especially when you are struggling with adversity.

A 2011 study conducted by researchers at the University of California found that self-compassion increases the motivation to recover from failure. After failing a test, students spent more time studying when they spoke to themselves kindly. Additionally, they reported greater motivation to change their weaknesses when they practiced self-acceptance (a key component of self-compassion).

Self-compassion may also improve mental health (which can increase motivation). A 2012 study published in Clinical Psychology Review discovered that self-compassion decreases psychological distress, reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduces the harmful effects of stress.

So rather than beat yourself up for mistakes or call yourself names, create a kinder inner dialogue. This doesn’t mean you need to repeat exaggeratedly positive affirmations like, “I’m the best person in the world,” however.

Instead, healthy self-compassion balances self-acceptance with self-improvement. Acknowledge your flaws, mistakes, and failures with honesty. But don’t indulge in a pity party.

Speak to yourself like a trusted friend. Ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend who had this problem?” You’d likely be much kinder to someone else than you are toward yourself. So start treating yourself like a good friend.

Additionally, coach yourself in a helpful manner. Practice using self-talk that encourages you and helps you recover from setbacks.

Use the 10-Minute Rule

When you dread doing something—like walking on the treadmill for three miles—you’ll lack motivation to do it. You can reduce your feelings of dread, however, by proving to yourself that the task isn’t as bad as you think or that you have the strength to tolerate it better than you envision.

The 10-minute rule can help you get started. Give yourself permission to quit a task after 10 minutes. When you reach the 10-minute mark, ask yourself if you want to keep going or quit. You’ll likely find that you have enough motivation to keep going.

So whether you lack motivation to start working on a boring report, or you can’t seem to get yourself off the couch to start a to-do list, use the 10-minute rule to motivate yourself to take action.

Getting started on a task is usually the hardest part. Once you get going, however, it’s much easier to keep going.

Go For a Walk in Nature

Fresh air, a change of scenery, and a little exercise can do wonders for your motivation. Walking in nature—as opposed to a busy urban street—can be especially beneficial.

A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that walking half a mile through a park reduces brain fatigue.   Being in nature offers a calming effect that rejuvenates the brain—which can help motivate you to tackle a tough task.

So rather than walk down a crowded street, go to the park or a botanical garden instead. Being surrounded by nature can provide the mental escape you need to return to your project feeling more motivated than before.

Pair a Dreaded Task With Something You Enjoy

Your emotions play a major role in your motivation level. If you’re sad, bored, lonely, or anxious, your desire to tackle a tough challenge or complete a tedious task will suffer.

Boost your mood by adding a little fun to something you’re not motivated to do. You’ll feel happier and you might even look forward to doing the task when it’s regularly paired with something fun.

Here are some examples:

  • Listen to music while you run.
  • Call a friend, and talk while you’re cleaning the house.
  • Light a scented candle while you’re working on your computer.
  • Rent a luxury vehicle when you travel for business.
  • Invite a friend to run errands with you.
  • Turn on your favorite show while you’re folding laundry.

Just make sure that your fun doesn’t impair your performance. For example, watching TV while writing a paper might distract you and slow you down even more. Or talking to a friend while you’re cleaning the house might be so distracting that you can’t pay attention to what you’re doing.

Manage Your To-Do List

It’s tough to feel motivated when your to-do list is overwhelming . If you feel like there’s no hope in getting everything done, you might not try to do anything.

Keep in mind that most people underestimate how long something will take them. And when they don’t get it done on time, they might view themselves as lazy or inefficient. This can backfire by causing them to lose motivation—which makes it even harder to get more things done.

Take a look at your to-do list, and determine if it’s too long. If so, get rid of tasks that aren’t essential .

See if other tasks can be moved to a different day. Prioritize the most important things on the list, and move those to the top.

You might find a slight change in your to-do list—or the way you view your to-do list—will help you to see your tasks as more manageable. As a result, you might feel more motivated to get to work.

Mental Health in the Workplace Webinar

On May 19, 2022, Verywell Mind hosted a virtual Mental Health in the Workplace webinar, hosted by Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW. If you missed it, check out  this recap  to learn ways to foster supportive work environments and helpful strategies to improve your well-being on the job.

Practice Self-Care

You’ll struggle with motivation as long as you aren’t caring for yourself. Sleep-deprivation, a poor diet, and lack of leisure time are just a few things that can make trudging through the day more difficult than ever.

Create a healthy self-care plan that allows you to take care of your mind and body:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Drink water, and eat a healthy diet.
  • Make time for leisure and fun.
  • Use healthy coping skills to deal with stress.
  • Avoid unhealthy habits, like binge eating and drinking too much alcohol.

Reward Yourself for Working

Create a small reward for yourself that you can earn for your hard work. You might find focusing on the reward helps you stay motivated to reach your goals.

For example, if you have a long paper to write for class, you might tackle it in several different ways:

  • Write 500 words, and then take a 10-minute break.
  • Eat one piece of chocolate after 30 minutes of work.
  • Write one page a day, and then remind yourself that when you’re done, you’ll have free time to do whatever you want.
  • Work for 20 minutes, and then spend 5 minutes checking social media.
  • When you complete the paper, allow yourself to go out with friends.

Consider whether you are likely to be more motivated by smaller, more frequent rewards or a bigger reward for a complete job. You may want to experiment with a few different strategies until you discover an approach that works best for you.

Make sure your rewards don’t sabotage your efforts, however. Rewarding your hard work at the gym with a sugary treat might be counterproductive. And counterproductive bad habits will decrease your motivation in the long term.

Seek Professional Help

If your motivation remains low for two or more weeks, seek professional help. You may also want to seek help if your lack of motivation is affecting your daily functioning. For example, if you aren’t able to go to work, your performance at work is suffering, or if you can’t get motivated to leave the house, this could be a sign of something more serious.

Schedule an appointment with your physician. Your doctor may want to rule out physical health conditions that may be affecting your energy or mood.

Your doctor may also refer you to a mental health professional to determine if your lack of motivation might be related to a mental illness, like depression. If so, treatment may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. You may also want to consider an online therapy program to address any underlying issues and tackle your lack of motivation.

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Causes of Having No Motivation

Sometimes, no motivation can be the problem. At other times, it’s merely the symptom of a bigger problem.

For example, if you’re a perfectionist , your lack of motivation may stem from the fear that you won’t complete a task flawlessly. Until you address this need to be perfect, your motivation isn’t likely to increase.

At other times, your lack of motivation may cause you to procrastinate . And the more you procrastinate, the less motivated you feel. In this case, improving your motivation to get work done can help you feel better and perform better.

So it’s important to take a few minutes to consider why you might have trouble motivating yourself. Here are some common reasons for a lack of motivation:

  • Avoidance of discomfort. Whether you don’t want to feel bored when doing a mundane task, or you are trying to avoid feelings of frustration by dodging a tough challenge, sometimes a lack of motivation stems from a desire to avoid uncomfortable feelings .
  • Self-doubt. When you think you can’t do something—or are convinced you can’t tolerate the distress associated with a certain task—you’ll likely struggle to get started.
  • Being over-extended. When you have a lot going on in life, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed. And this feeling can zap your motivation.
  • Lack of commitment to a goal. Agreeing to a task simply because you felt obligated, or declaring a resolution out of peer pressure, may mean your heart really isn’t in it. And you likely won’t take action when you aren’t committed to your goal.
  • Mental health issues. A lack of motivation is a common symptom of depression . It can also be linked to other mental illnesses , like anxiety . So it’s important to consider whether your mental health may be affecting your motivation level.

These are just a few common reasons why people sometimes lack motivation. You might find that your lack of motivation stems from other issues, like the fear of what people think or a desire to please everyone. So carefully consider the underlying thoughts and feelings that are affecting your drive.

A Word From Verywell

Everyone struggles with motivation issues at one time or another. The way you respond to your lack of motivation is what matters, however. Be kind to yourself, experiment with strategies that increase your motivation, and ask for help if you need it.

Breines JG, Chen S. Self-compassion increases self-improvement motivation .  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin . 2012;38(9):1133-1143. doi:10.1177/0146167212445599

Macbeth A, Gumley A. Exploring compassion: A meta-analysis of the association between self-compassion and psychopathology .  Clinical Psychology Review . 2012;32(6):545-552. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2012.06.003

Aspinall P, Mavros P, Coyne R, Roe J. The urban brain: Analysing outdoor physical activity with mobile EEG .  British Journal of Sports Medicine . 2013;49(4):272-276. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2012-091877

By Amy Morin, LCSW Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

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17 Things to Do When You’ve Lost Your Motivation

A man sitting in front of his laptop looking tired and unmotivated.

“I was thinking one day and I realized that if I just had somebody behind me all the way to motivate me I could make a big difference. Nobody came along like that so I just became that person for myself.” Unknown

Staying motivated until you reach your goals and dreams isn’t always easy.

There are often roadblocks, plateaus and valleys along the way where you can get into a slump. Or a rut.

And feel like you’ve simply lost your motivation somewhere along the way.

So today I would like to share 17 tips, strategies and habits that I have used to find that motivation again.

I hope you’ll find something helpful here.

1. Refocus on doing what YOU really, really like to do.

When you really like doing something then the motivation to do it comes automatically (most of the time). And when you really want something then it simply becomes easier to push through any inner resistance you feel.

So if you lose your motivation, ask yourself:

Am I doing what I really want to do?

If not and if possible, refocus and start working on that very important thing instead.

2. Make a list of upsides.

Write down all the benefits you will get from achieving something, like for example getting into better shape or making more money.

Save it and then pull that list out of the drawer whenever your motivation is lacking again and review it. Or put it somewhere where you will see it every day until you reach your dream.

This is a powerful way to reconnect with your motivation and reasons for taking action.

3. Make a list of downsides.

You can combine this with the list of upsides to give yourself even more motivation to start moving and get things done.

Ask yourself:

  • How will my life look in 5 years if I continue to stay on the same path as now?
  • How will life likely become worse for me and maybe even for the people around me?

Try to see the negative consequences as vividly as you can in your mind to kick-start your motivation to start going for that positive change again.

4. Spend 3 minutes on remembering your successes.

If you lose your motivation then it is easy to get stuck in looking at your failures and so you get stuck in that slump.

So instead, sit down for three minutes and just remember your successes. Let them wash over you and refuel your inspiration and motivation.

5. Go for a bigger goal.

Set a big goal that inspires you even if it may seem a tad unrealistic at the moment.

If you have too easily achievable goals then you may find that they don’t give you that motivational spark and drive. When you start to think a bit bigger then you get motivated and your mind starts looking for the solutions that will help you achieve that goal.

Thinking too small can leave you with a “meh…” feeling or make you feel like you can do it later.

6. Or go for a small or tiny goal.

If having a medium-sized goal don’t feel too inspiring and a bigger goal feels overwhelming then try to set a smaller one instead. Or even just a tiny one.

A smaller goal could be to just workout for 15 minutes today or 5 minutes on getting going with your essay for school.

And a tiny one – if the smaller one leads to procrastination – could for example be to just work out for 1-2 minutes.

The most important thing if you’re standing still is to start moving and to build some momentum forward. So do that with one or a few small or tiny steps at first if that’s what will work for you at this time.

7. Remember how far you have come and compare yourself with yourself.

Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation.

There are always people ahead of you.

So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved your life and results.

This is important because it’s a great motivator to see how much you have improved and how far you have come. Often you can be pleasantly surprised when you do such a review.

8. Reconnect with optimism.

How you perceive what you are doing or are about to do makes a huge difference.

The positive and constructive way of looking at things energizes and inspires you. It makes it easier to keep going even when you hit roadblocks.

So ask yourself questions like:

  • What is one thing that awesome about this situation?
  • What can I learn from this and what is one opportunity in this situation?
  • How can I or we solve this and what is the next small step that I or we can take to start doing that?

9. Work out.

I like this one because even if you feel too frustrated and down to ask yourself the right questions you can still drag yourself to the gym or wherever you go to exercise.

And if you just do your pretty mindless repetitions then your body will do the rest.

Endorphins and other chemicals will be released. Inner tensions will loosen up and leave your body.

Your negative emotional pattern will be broken. And new energy will be added to your body.

10. Talk about it.

Sometimes you just need to let it out and to talk to someone about your motivational low point. Letting it all out can release a lot of pent up emotion and let you get a new, more positive and healthy perspective on things.

Often we build our own small or medium-sized problems into big scary monsters in our minds.

Letting the monsters out into the light and letting others see them can make us realize that we were making a too big of a deal out of it all.

It allows us to lighten up a bit, to not take things too seriously and to start moving forward and find that lost motivation again.

So talk to a friend or family member. Or try an anonymous internet forum with like-minded people.

11. Remember to have fun.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the seriousness of a task and the stress and tension of completing it.

So remember that you are allowed to have fun when you are working on it.

There is no rule that says you have to be all serious about it all the time.

When you can, create fun in a task. Compete with yourself to finish it even faster than you did the last time, whistle a nice tune while working or have fun and joke around with your co-workers and class mates.

12. Start moving and let the motivation catch up with you.

Many times I have found it better to just do it and start working instead of trying to motivate myself to get going.

At first what you do may suck quite a bit and it’s hard going. But after a while inspiration and motivation seems to catch up with you.

Things start to flow easier and your work is of a higher quality.

13. Get accountability from one or a few people in your life.

Getting your goal, dream or new habit that you’re working on out into the world can make a big difference for your motivation levels.

So tell a few friends on social media what you will do. Or talk to one of them on the phone or in person and ask her to check up on you and your progress regularly.

By putting a bit of social pressure on yourself and getting some follow up once a week or twice a month you’ll be less likely to give up at the first obstacle or try to weasel out of your commitment.

14. Let the motivation from others (close by and far away in the world) flow over to you.

Spend more of your week with the people in your life that are enthusiastic, motivated or optimistic.

And let motivation from all over the world into your daily life and mind by:

  • Listening to positive podcasts.
  • Visiting uplifting websites.
  • Watching inspiring online videos or movies.
  • Exploring motivating books and biographies about the most successful people in history.

15. Have a bit of friendly competition.

Engage in a bit of friendly competition with a co-worker or school friend about, for example, who can finish a boring or routine task first.

The winner can get a free ice-cream, fruit bowl or something else that’s small but a motivating reward from the other person.

16. Take a break.

Yeah, sometimes you just need to take a break.

Perhaps your time-plan for your goal or new habit is just too optimistic?

Maybe you have worked harder than you can manage right now. Then take a break.

A few hours or days of rest and recuperation can change how you feel in a remarkable way and recharge your batteries.

17. Step out in nature for a bit.

Very few things in life give me so much new motivation and energy as being out in nature.

So I often go out for a walk in the nearby woods and focus on just taking all the sights and smells in and on breathing the fresh air without thinking about anything special.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

Thank you for the many ways in which you can reignite your motivation to achieve whatever goal we set ourselves. It’s funny but there are so many times when for example I don’t feel like exercising and then I start and as soon as I start I feel better and no longer lethargic

I love this website and the great tips you provide for your readers. It’s wonderful to know that “positivity” tips are similar in all parts of the world-from Sweden to California and beyond. I just started a website myself sharing inspirational content so I enjoyed reading yours. Keep up the great work. Thank you Hendrik!

Thanks for sharing the inspirational post! Personal development or self motivation is the key to success in any phase of life so self motivation is an important part of life!

I may be in the minority for thinking this way but I seem to hold the belief that relying solely on motivation to achieve goals and success is a plan that’s likely to fail.

Excuse my pessimistic tone but hear me out and check out these quotes.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” – John Heywood

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily” – Mike Murdock

These quotes and many more seem to suggest a main theme when it comes to achieving big goals and success – habits.

Want to lose weight? Make exercising and healthy eating a habit.

Want to wake up early every day? Make it a habit.

Want to publish your own book? Make it a habit to write a paragraph or two every day.

The amount of motivation you need to perform an action drastically drops because it isn’t hard to do something that’s already a habit.

Build habits to rely less on motivation.

Just some food for thought!

I really like your article..Thanks for sharing the inspirational post

Thanks for sharing the inspirational post

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I’m Henrik Edberg.

Since 2006 I’ve written about self-esteem and  happiness and much more.

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6 Possible Reasons Why You've Suddenly Lost Motivation

We've all suffered from it. A sudden, seemingly inexplicable loss of motivation. We feel dejected, empty, and tired. Getting out of bed is a struggle and few things excite. We procrastinate on our tasks and our projects. We feel guilty about it too, but we can't get ourselves to do anything about it.

This loss of motivation hits everyone in life, from the tired med school student to the highly effective executive. Usually, we simply force ourselves through the days until we start feeling better. But that's wasting an opportunity.

You see, losing motivation is instructional. It's your subconscious mind giving hints that something is off. Properly analyzing why you're not feeling motivated will make it easier to snap out of it and will ultimately determine how productive and fulfilled you can feel over a prolonged period of time.

What Causes a Loss of Motivation?

There are many reasons why someone can experience a sudden loss of motivation, but the reasons are quite specific and it's not all that hard to figure out which one you're suffering from. If you're feeling unmotivated, a few of the below reasons will usually pop out to you as the reasons why you specifically have lost motivation (for a particular project or in general).

You Don't Value Yourself

In his book 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth , John Maxwell calls the value judgments that people make about themselves "the most important factor in someone's psychological development and motivation."

Is your self-talk negative? Are you often cynical or bitter? Do you consider yourself unworthy of something? If so, this could be the reason why you're feeling unmotivated.

Solution: Be careful with your self-talk. Identify your limiting beliefs first (write them down to make this process easier) and exchange them for empowering beliefs.

For example: it's not because you've achieved little so far that you aren't capable of achieving much in the future. Here are some bad thoughts you should replace:

  • "I can't do this." => "I can do this, I just need to figure out how."
  • "I don't deserve success." => "I will take what comes my way and use it for good."
  • "I've never been great at anything." => "I'm good at many things already and can become great in them too."

You Don't Have a Strong Enough Why

Most people have some answer as to why they're doing what they're doing. Often, however, that answer isn't strong or emotional enough. This is frequently a big reason why you might have lost motivation for something.

Ask yourself, why did you start a particular project? Why do you work at your current job? If your answers are weak and might as well be accompanied with a shrug or an "I guess", then your why isn't strong enough.

Solution: Explicitly define your why. This needn't be some ethereal process where you look up at the sky for the answer to echo in your head. Just write down some of the reasons why you're doing what you're doing and don't stop until you arrive at something that stirs you, something that has you nodding your head.

Your why needn't even be directly associated with a particular project either. For example, your why for an otherwise boring project at work can be "So my manager sees I can get down in the weeds and get stuff done."

Another example: I'm currently learning how to play the piano, because I believe that learning a new instrument will improve my creativity. A study from Michigan State University has shown that Nobel Prize Winners are 2.85 more likely than the average scientist to have an artistic or crafty hobby. And Einstein played the violin.

It's anecdotal evidence, but it keeps me going. That's what matters.

Your Goal Overwhelms You

You've set an ambitious goal that requires you to push hard every day. But you can't get yourself to do any of your tasks. Often, this is because the goal overwhelms you.

This can be a subtle one, because you needn't necessarily feel overwhelmed to be overwhelmed. You might think you're perfectly capable of achieving your goal, but still end up procrastinating on your tasks.

Solution: Look at your tasks. Are they small enough? Have you structured your project appropriately? If your next task reads something like "Learn JavaScript" , you need to make your tasks smaller. For example, "Spend one hour a day going through Wes Bos' JavaScript course" is a much easier task to complete.

Analyzing your ambitious goal and placing it into a structure of small tasks and reasonable deadlines will make it much easier to keep on moving forward.

Your Environment Isn't Supportive

Your environment is a big predictor of your success. Jim Rohn said that you're the average of the five people you surround yourself with, and there's a lot of truth to that quote.

If you surround yourself with negative, cynical people, you will adopt their mindset and turn negative and cynical too. This, in turn, will make it harder to motivate yourself to do anything. Of course, it goes beyond people too. Your physical environment counts too. It'll be harder to lose weight when you have sugary treats in your house.

Solution: Surround yourself with positive, successful people (and I define success broadly, not in its narrow monetary sense). Determine what elements in your environment demotivate you. Remove those elements and replace them with motivators.

You Lead an Unhealthy Lifestyle

So many problems in life can be attributed to a lack of sleep , a poor diet, and not enough exercise. Sleeping six hours a night and living on Chinese takeaway food will inevitably, eventually, lead to burnout and loss of motivation.

Solution: Determine how many hours of sleep you need and get those hours consistently. Exercise several times a week. Eat healthily and mindfully.

Happy, motivated people have a different physiology than unmotivated people. They stand up straight, breathe faster, and are generally more active. Emotion creates motion. This works the other way round too. Motion creates emotion. You can trick your brain into feeling happier and more motivated by moving around and being active.

You're Impatient

You want things now. You see things that aren't there, but should be. All the work you do is done with a grudge, because the result should've been there already.

Solution: Practice gratitude for what you already have. The world isn't perfect and you'll never have everything you want, but it's good to practice being grateful for what you already have.

Don't be afraid that gratitude will temper your ambitions. It won't. You can both be grateful for what you already have and eagerly work towards the future you envision. One doesn't cancel out the other.

Additionally, it's important to realize that success (however you define it) is a marathon, not a sprint. Everything good in life takes time. Shortcuts in life usually aren't shortcuts at all.

Value consistency more than intensity. Most people will benefit much more from working out half an hour every day over an intense two-hour workout once a week.

These were six reasons why you can experience a sudden loss of motivation, and how you can overcome each one of them. Did this article help? Can you think of other ways to overcome feeling unmotivated? Let us know by replying to the below tweet:

Consistency over intensity. — X-Team (@xteam) June 4, 2020


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Students Lack Interest or Motivation

Identify possible reasons for the problem you have selected. To find the most effective strategies, select the reason that best describes your situation, keeping in mind there may be multiple relevant reasons.

Students lack interest or motivation.

Students see little value in the course or its content.

Students do not believe that their efforts will improve their performance.

Students are demotivated by the structure and allocation of rewards.

Students do not perceive the classroom climate as supportive.

Students have other priorities that compete for their time and attention.

Individual students may suffer from physical, mental, or other personal problems that affect motivation.

This site supplements our 1-on-1 teaching consultations. CONTACT US to talk with an Eberly colleague in person!

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Lack of Motivation Among Children and Its Solutions Essay

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A strong correlation between student achievement and motivation to learn has been established by researchers. Motivation and enthusiasm represent desire and interest. Atkinson and Feather posit in their need achievement theory that children face a central conflict, namely, the striving to succeed and the urge to avoid failure (qt. in National Research Council & the Institute of Medicine). We often view motivation as the extrinsic things that people want. We learn because we want to get a good job or we go to our job because we want money. Motivation can be described as the amount that we spend on a task and how much value the task has to us, whether we want to learn to do it, or whether we can do it or not. I would love to be a dancer, but I don’t believe that I’ll be able to do that, so while my desire to do it is strong, my expectation that I’ll be successful at it is very low, and therefore, my motivation is low.

Lack of motivation is a big problem among children. We know that education is the key to success for every country. Education helps to boost the economy and to generate democratic societies. Today, the younger generation does not have much interest in education. If we look at the education system, students’ interest to achieve higher education is low; in other words, students have a low motivation towards education, in the current setting. Research shows that students just want to get a certificate or degree with passing grades only. Students do not want to understand education properly. As we compare to previous years, there are more older people coming to a school than younger ones because at a younger age, they do not have any motive or interest in their education and they realize the importance of education at an older age. This is very common today.

Lack of motivation is one big reason that could make one’s life unhappy. There are a lot of reasons behind the loss of interest in education among children such as increasing media and new technology.

Today, new technology and various discoveries that make life better and comfortable have been invented or made. Out of various technologies, media is also one of them. Media is the way through which a lot of information can be gotten and through which people can know about the world while sitting at home. According to ‘Monitor on Psychology’ by Clay, media is becoming the cause of the loss of desire among the young generation. Interesting and entertainment programs are creating a big obstacle for students at an early age.

Media provides too many distractions. Children watch cartoons at the time of eating, sleeping, and studying. So, in this way, their minds are toward television all the time. According to the aforementioned article, children between the age of five and eighteen spend an average of almost five and a half hours a day watching television, playing a video game, surfing the web, or using some other forms of media. Television and another kind of media are developing the habit of text messaging while students are at school and college.

Today, students are going to schools or colleges with a cell phone on one hand and books on the other hand. One can see this everywhere in our society. Several students are coming to school without intention in their life. In a classroom, they do not have attentive minds toward any particular subject the teacher is instructing. Instead of listening to the teacher, they think text messaging is very important. Text messaging is increasing among students and is become some kind of modern fashion. They always need cell phones as they need food to survive.

In some cases, teachers can be blamed for the deteriorating motivation among schoolers because of either failing to stop and discourage the behavior adopted by children that could otherwise divert attention for education, or for reinforcing these behaviors. Even though they are physically present in school, they are not there mentally and their minds are revolving around worldly things. According to the ‘monitor on psychology’, more students take the habit of text messaging by watching other students do it. Students learn more to watch their surroundings. Sometimes, the surrounding atmosphere can spoil the future of good students. For example, a good student notices that his friend is engaging in text messaging in a classroom and find that the teacher does not discourage or thoroughly punish the behavior, the behavior is spread to colleagues. Because of the time wasted on the behavior, the performance is negatively affected and this may make the student lose interest in learning activities.

Text messaging and modern media hurt children and especially in the coming generation. Media is developing aggressive behavior among children. According to ‘monitor on psychology’, studies have shown that about 13 percentage of students increase in aggressive behavior after watching television and playing video games.

Media can be blamed for increasingly filming violent scenes and programs. Watching the violence in the media channels is the result of students’ aggressive behavior. Over sixty percent of television shows being shown in primetime contain some form of violence. Risky behavior of children and adults can include violence among others. Due to their aggressive behavior, students have no respect toward their parents and teachers. Research has also shown heavy views, which is four or more hours a day, put less effort at school.

Weakness in studies is the outcome of children who regularly watch television. They have poor reading skills and cannot be able to read and have less concentration toward studies. The media is destroying their internal interest in education. Their lack of interest in education makes them illiterate.

Illiteracy is the long-term effect of media on children. The Illiterate doesn’t only mean those who cannot read and write, but also those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. Research shows that children who take more time in watching television and slow their minds towards TV cannot concentrate on their studies. The result is that they become illiterate throughout their lives. Their wastage of time on TV leads them to illiteracy.

The solution to this problem is diverse. One approach is ensuring that motivation is encouraged in our education system; i.e. the curriculum must ensure that students are motivated as they learn. The education system must foster the improvement of the cycle of motivation as posited by Arthur Robinson, that students like doing activities which they excel in, and excel in activities they like. Therefore, the curriculum must thoroughly identify the many options available for specializing at higher levels of education and encourage student participation in the related decision-making process. In addition, the curriculum must ensure there is a blend between work and play.

Erosion of motivation among children is becoming a serious problem. We should take some steps to increase the motivation among children. Parents can play important role in creating interest among students. Parents should take special care of their children’s activities. They can limit their child to watch T.V and playing of videogames. They should fix their time to watch television. Parents should accompany their children to watch T.V so that they know what kind of programs they are watching and encourage the student to watch more educational programs instead of watching movies and playing video games.

On the other hand, teachers’ inputs are also necessary to make a responsible student. To stop their text messaging, teachers will have to have very strict regulations and rules on this issue. It is possible only if students do a little contribution to them. They can follow the rule made by the teachers.

  • Atkinson, J. W., & Feather, N. T. (1966). A theory of achievement motivation . New York: Wiley
  • National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. (2004). Engaging Schools: Fostering High School Students’ Motivation to Learn . Committee on Increasing High School Students’ Engagement and Motivation to Learn. Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Review by Terrel Strayhorn. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press
  • Robinson Arthur. (2009). Motivation by excellence: The trick is to be so skilled at work that it becomes play . Web .
  • Music and Text Messaging Influence on Social Psychology and Psychosocial Development
  • Automated Text Messaging During COVID-19
  • Unified Messaging System and Communication Security
  • Simulink Broadens Video, Runs Simulations for Real-Time
  • Information Technology System
  • Comparison UML and Modelscope
  • The Monitor Convergence and the Television Consumption
  • Automation of Accounting and Monitoring Procedures
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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How to Motivate Yourself to Write a College Essay

Adela B.

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Do you sometimes wonder where all those famous personalities got their motivation from?

For instance, would physics be what it is if Albert Einstein was not motivated by his curiosity to determine the defining laws of modern physics?

Would Michael Jordan be one of the best basketball players of all time if he was not motivated enough to succeed and get past his failures?

Would the United States be united if Abraham Lincoln was not motivated and determined to preserve the Union? Come what may?

..and here you are, unable to even start your college essay!

If you are lacking the motivation to start your essay or are struggling to stay motivated because your essay does not seem to end, first of all - stop stressing. You are certainly not the only student to be in this situation.

It’s true. It would be best if you were charged up and motivated about something to do an excellent job at it. Motivation is the fuel that drives you - it pushes you to stay committed to your goal despite hurdles and challenges along the way. It stems from vision and your willpower to turn it into reality.

Believe it or not - there is a science behind motivation .

Finding the Motivation to Write Your College Essay When You Hit a Dead End

You have an essay to complete, but you are nowhere close to starting it. The fact that you might have to put together a last-minute essay is no longer enough to get you started because you are deeply demotivated and unenthusiastic to begin working on it.

Don’t worry - we have put together a list of tips and tools that will get you out of this phase and jumpstart your motivation.

Why are you Losing Motivation to Write an Essay

There are many reasons that might be contributing to your lack of motivation. The first step is knowing why you are not motivated enough to complete your essay so you can arrest it and get beyond it.

Here are five common reasons behind losing the motivation to write -

Not Interested in the Topic

If you find yourself saying, “but I hate the essay topic” or “I couldn’t care less about the topic,” it’s inevitable that the core reason behind your lack of motivation is your absolute disinterest in the essay topic.

We agree - it’s challenging to write when you don’t relate to something or worse still, dislike the subject. How do you start? How do you express your thoughts? How do you begin the research?

..but you gotta do what you gotta do.

At such times, what helps is knowing that this particular writing assignment will take you one step closer to your academic goals. Remind yourself that doing well here has long-term benefits. So, put aside your aversion and get onto it.

Lack of Confidence in your Writing

This reason is unfortunate - when you second-guess yourself to the extent that you start doubting your writing abilities which takes a hit on your confidence and jolts your motivation. The next thing you know, you are struggling with all the writing assignments that come your way.

You don’t have to deal with the entire essay in one go. Doing that will just scare you more and take you further away from finishing it. Instead, break it down and take it one step at a time. You are likely to maintain your sanity and motivation when you do so.

So, set aside time for research, outlining, writing, editing, and proofreading. Even in the writing stage, don’t aim to write everything out together. Break it down paragraph-wise and let yourself do justice to each one of them instead of rushing with it.

Keep a Strong Writing Schedule

How will you regain your confidence if you don’t give yourself a chance?

For a moment, forget what your teacher will say after reading your essay or how you will be perceived. Just write with the aim of pushing your limits and doing the best you can.

Read more books. Ask yourself what it is that you want to communicate—plan and practice writing. Most importantly, stop letting your fear and anxieties from telling you that you cannot write - be more significant than that.

Tips on building confidence as a writer from Reedsy community

Cannot Stop Procrastinating

Ask any student what their biggest enemy is, and they will tell you it’s procrastination.

That’s your story too? Then the only way to battle that is to plan well. Yes, get all those productivity apps and tools out and get disciplined. That’s the only way to get around your assignment.

No one said assignment writing is fun but it’s necessary to take it up with all seriousness to get the scores you want. So, stop procrastinating and just START.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Considering the number of assignments a high school, college, or university student deals with on a daily basis, it is extremely common to feel overwhelmed and intimidated. When this overwhelming feeling is not tackled early, it takes over one’s thought process and becomes a deterrent.

This is primarily in the case of college essays because there is so much pressure riding on them. Essay writing is a cognitive, time-consuming process that requires an extensive amount of planning and work, but when you take it one step at a time, it helps to feel less overwhelmed and re-ignite your motivation.

Too Focussed on Grades

A study suggests that when students are overly focused on grades, it affects learning.

..and we agree.

The same applies to writing college essays. When you start obsessing over the grades you will get, you are likely to work under immense pressure, which affects the quality of your writing.

While grades do matter, it’s important to shift focus from the final outcome to getting immersed and enjoying the process. Try it!

So, what’s your reason? Accept it to overcome it.

What to Do When You Lack the Motivation to Write a College Essay

Contrary to what people think, no one is “born” motivated. You can make changes in your life and mindset to become motivated and at the same time, if you are not persistent enough, your motivation may even start to fade.

So, if you are stressing over the fact that you are losing motivation to write your college paper, here are ten hacks that can help you get out of that phase and get started on your essay -

Write and Revisit your Goal

“Does that even help?”

Oh. It does.

When you write down your goal, it registers better. Whether it’s finishing your essay in a given amount of time or aiming for the grades you want - when you write your goals down, however big or small, it remains in your subconscious and ignites renewed passion in your mind to go after that goal.

What’s more, on days when you are not particularly charged up or are feeling listless and demotivated, revisiting your goals is an essential reminder and helps you get back on your feet.

So, get a journal, write your goal down, and maybe even stick it on your study table, so you never lose track.

Watch Mary Morrissey deconstruct the power of writing down your goals

Break Down the Writing Process

Earlier, we spoke about how writing assignments tend to get overwhelming. In such cases, you know what helps? Breaking down the writing process.

You don’t have to deal with the entire essay in one go. Doing that will scare you and take you further away from finishing it. Instead, break it down and take it one step at a time. You are likely to maintain your sanity and motivation when you do so.

So, set aside time for research, outlining, writing, editing, and proofreading. Even in the writing stage, don’t aim to write everything together. Break it down paragraph-wise and let yourself do justice to each one of them instead of rushing with it.

Once you have broken down the writing process into smaller steps, allocate a definite period to each of them - that includes the exact dates because only then can you hold yourself accountable for it.

Another aspect of keeping a solid writing schedule is knowing when you are your productive best and when your ideas are flowing. For some, it can be early morning, for others, it can be late at night.

So, find your favorite writing period and maintain an intense writing schedule wherein you can get most of the writing done. Try and write at least something every day, so you don’t lose touch and go back to square one.

Create the Essay Outline

One of the most overlooked aspects of writing essays is creating outlines. “What has created an outline got to do with being motivated,” you may ask.

It helps because when you work on a solid outline, you realize that the next step is just populating the essay, knowing that you are not going off-track and following a logical sequence.

Creating an essay outline makes you feel closer to the end result because you know you have your research, notes, and outline in place - now, you can get onto the writing part.

Conquer Writing Anxiety

Writing anxiety is when you are filled with fear and tension when you are met with any writing assignment. It may have arisen due to a bad experience wherein you were dissed for your writing - and then this perception just stuck on.

Well, guess what? That’s not helping your “motivation” at all. It’s crippling.

Firstly, stop comparing your work to others and set unrealistic expectations aside. For a change, don’t look at the bigger picture and just focus on the task.

Read the assignment instructions, reach out to your instructor if you have concerns, and start the process. Every time you second-guess yourself, identify it and reason it out instead of giving in to it.

As Antoniou and Moriarty stated, “the most important lesson in developing one’s writing is to WRITE.”

Practice Freewriting

Sometimes, instead of feeding your demotivated self, you need just to put your foot down and start writing. This is what freewriting is - writing whatever comes to you.

It helps you to overcome your mental blocks and gets you started on something you have been delaying for the longest time. Once you get the ball rolling, you can always come back to polish your essay and make it worthy of submission.

Here are five tips to free-write successfully

Write the Introduction Last

When we started writing essays in school, we were taught to create essays with introductory paragraphs.

Yes, introductions do come first, but that does not mean they need to be written first.

Let’s face it - introductory paragraphs face the most amount of pressure. Starting with an interesting hook , engaging the reader from the word go, and ensuring your essay begins with a bang is the kind of pressure we are talking about.

Someone who is not too motivated to write is bound to crumble under this pressure. Hence, it’s a good idea to start with the body paragraphs and even write the conclusion before you can come back to write the introductory paragraph with a calm, composed, and confident mind.

Find your Perfect Writing Space

Many might think this is overrated, but we beg to differ.

You might think you can write on the couch today and tomorrow and get the writing down while sitting on the bed, but that’s where you are making a mistake.

A dedicated space to think and write helps because you create a motivating and safe environment for yourself. From ensuring you sit in the correct posture and having easy access to your tools and resources to maintaining a distraction-free space - sitting there to write is enough to get you in the ‘writing zone.’

So, find your perfect writing space, and you will see a spike in your productivity levels.

Reward Yourself

Do you remember how as kids, our parents gave us chocolate to tidy up our room or took us to the amusement park to score well in our exams? It helped. That’s because we were told we would be rewarded for doing something.

Not much has changed. You can try the same thing for yourself even today.

Rewards boost motivation because who doesn't love getting rewarded? So, every time you finish a chunk of your writing, celebrate that small win and reward yourself. It can be as simple as catching another episode of your favorite show on Netflix or anything else that brings you joy.

Take Breaks

Talking about joy, taking regular breaks is extremely important to remain motivated because otherwise you just turn into an unhappy machine and you certainly don’t want that, do you?

Take a break from your writing - watch a movie, spend time with friends and family, go to your favorite restaurant or just head out for a walk in the park. Do anything to get away from your books so you can come back to your essay with a fresher mind.

Practical Tools to Stay Motivated While Writing your College Essay

If there is anything more complex than finding motivation, it is staying motivated. But hey, why fear when technology is here?

Here are four practical online tools to help you stay motivated right through the essay writing process -


Today’s most prominent online distractions come from social media channels, Netflix, and e-commerce websites. How is one supposed to even begin writing, given these circumstances?

This is where WriteMonkey can come to your rescue. This tool does not let anything come between you and your writing. It displays an empty screen, letting you stay focussed on paper and nothing else.

The organization is critical - all the more when it comes to writing college essays. Trello is a planning tool that makes organization fun.

From keeping track of websites and planning drafts to creating a to-do list and adding priorities - this tool lets you arrange your assignments well such that you don’t miss anything.

Remember the tip about breaking down the writing process we spoke about earlier? Yes, Trello has a feature that lets you create subtasks and track their progress.

Focus Keeper

As the name suggests, Focus Keeper is meant to keep your focus going. This easy-to-use app needs you to plug in the tasks that need to be completed, set the timer, and start writing. It also allows for timely breaks to prevent you from reaching burnout .

Cold Turkey

Let’s face it - you cannot possibly finish your essays without the internet, and where there is the internet, there is bound to be a distraction.

Downloading Cold Turkey lets you maintain discipline because it turns your computer into a typewriter and allows you to set a time limit and word count goal. You are literally locked into this app - unless you don’t meet the daily goal, you won’t be able to log out.

While we agree it is not easy to be motivated to write a college essay, it is not impossible either. So, follow the tips, hacks, and tools we have put together for you to supercharge your motivation and write a brilliant essay!

However, if everything else fails and you are still struggling to start your essay, we have a sure-fire solution for you and that is reaching out to essay writing experts.

Writers Per Hour is one such expert that can help with your college papers, no matter the type or length of time you have in hand. Just write to us with your requirements, and we will get our professional writers on the job, guaranteeing to deliver superior quality, 100%-plagiarism-free, and authentic essays.

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  • Social Sciences

Overcome Writer's Block Caused by Lack of Motivation

  • Author: Natalie Frank

Don't let writer's block decrease your self-confidence.

Don't let writer's block decrease your self-confidence.

Is Writer's Block the Greatest Challenge for a Writer?

It is difficult to determine the greatest challenge that writers will face. Daily life includes a series of ongoing challenges for those who are trying to make a living in this industry. Countless articles, books, and podcasts exist on how to fight various obstacles to create successful writing habits and outcomes.

These resources can be useful, but the one central challenge never goes away: The challenge of maintaining the will to create and believe in your ability to write something that others will find interesting. The tough reality is that writing is hard. It often isn't fun and can feel like spending all your time wrestling with a bear. You may have the best bear wrestling skills around, but if nothing inspires you to take on the animal, it will not be much of a match.

Facing a bear, you are inspired, of course, by the will to live. While a writer doesn't feel the same level of threat or urgency, it is important to establish a mindset of writing as a primary part of your life. This means establishing a routine that reflects this firmly held belief. Such a routine is especially helpful on days when it seems the will, inspiration, or drive to produce is just not there.

Even with a set routine, it is important to find ways to help keep yourself engaged, even on days when you can't establish or maintain a consistent level of excitement or inspiration. The truth is, just like any job, even when you are toiling at something you love, you are still toiling, and more days than not, you won't feel like leaping out of bed because the muse has come calling.

Remember that being at a constant level of excitement over your work would not be healthy. In fact, it would likely wear out your desire and drive quickly, leaving you feeling burnt out and used up. Strive to establish and maintain a level of motivation that, even if not constant, is always present at a high enough level to enable you to continue writing and working towards your short and long-term goals.

Passive and Active Approaches to Viewing and Dealing With Obstacles

The main difference between people who want to write and those who do write is the way they deal with obstacles. For some, obstacles are viewed as insurmountable and overwhelming, sometimes to the point where writing itself becomes demotivating. These people want to write but don’t seem to be able to do so. They believe that, at some point, they will find a way to overcome this negative experience of writing and tell themselves it’s okay to wait until a positive mindset takes hold.

This way of thinking is passive and is almost always bound to fail. Contrary to popular belief, lightning bolts in the form of earth-shattering, electrifying ideas and plots almost never strike. If you want the rain to fall and the lightning to strike, it is up to you to become a rainmaker. Rainmakers are people who don’t just want to write but who do write. They perceive the same obstacles but don’t see them as a huge wall over which they cannot climb. Instead, they envision an obstacle course with challenges that they can successfully navigate.

Sometimes, successfully navigating means trying a number of different methods and techniques. Sometimes, it may even mean letting yourself write badly without judgment just to keep up the habit of writing. If you are a freelance writer, this may mean producing an article or blog post for a site that doesn’t pay while searching for paying gigs. For creative writers, this may take the form of journaling or free writing when working on your plot is blocking you with frustration.

The key is the active pursuit of your goal of writing instead of passively waiting for a muse to knock who will whisper sweet nothings into your ear in the form of article ideas, revenue sources, storylines and plot points. If you truly want to write, tell yourself to get on with it and do so. If you want to be a freelance writer, do your homework, do the research and get your name out there. If you want to be a creative writer, keep notebooks of character sketches, interesting bits of conversation overheard, story ideas inspired during the day and prompts or exercises you have found useful or want to try out.

Lack of confidence often develops into a separate problem that further erodes motivation.

Lack of confidence often develops into a separate problem that further erodes motivation.

Motivation and Self-Confidence

The difference between freelance writing and creative writing is not the creative part. Freelance writers and creative writers both have times when it seems the creativity well has run dry. For a creative writer, a dry spell may mean having difficulty determining how to continue an idea, while for a freelance writer , it may mean figuring out how to approach a list of successive topics in a unique manner.

No matter what type of writing you engage in, there will be times when you feel like the writing is flowing in a way that will interest readers and other times when the writing doesn’t even interest you. That’s part of the process.

With the Internet, there are now so many outlets for creating content online that it seems like there is no end to the number of articles, posts, podcasts, and tweets on practically any topic you can think of. For those not in the business of creating content regularly, it may seem like any subject can lead to a good article and that freelance writers have it easy. Yet, finding a new and unique way of exploring a saturated topic is sometimes impossible, leading to the need to change approaches or switch tracks entirely.

There are so many platforms that a freelance writer can use to display his/her talent that there is no excuse not to write. But creative writing is also generated largely from made-up stories on the author’s part; it can also feel like there is no excuse for a creative writer not to write. They just have to make up something else. Both can have a potential wealth of subject material. Neither type of writer can fall back on the excuse they have absolutely no ideas to write about. This makes motivation even more of a problem because there is no excuse, so not writing can lead to major self-confidence issues. When the problem is a lack of motivation but is viewed as a lack of viable ideas, the writer often concludes they don’t have what it takes to succeed in the profession.

Lack of confidence often develops into a separate problem that further erodes motivation. It can also establish a mindset where the writer doesn’t recognize the lack of motivation as something that can be overcome. Instead, they tell themselves they don’t have the talent to write and shouldn’t waste their time pursuing the endeavor, turning something that can be addressed into something inherent that can’t be corrected. While some view motivation as something that is also intrinsic to the person, there are ways to change your thinking about the problem and strategies that can help address it that will make a real difference in your ability to achieve your writing goals. It is also important to remember that there will be times you don’t write as well as you would like. There will also be times when you may end up throwing out a day’s work. The trick is to know it’s not the end of the world and that you will get back on track with better results. Being able to believe that is the key to overcoming bad days without it knocking down your self-confidence.



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Motivation: how to address the greatest challenge to all writers.

By far, the most common obstacles cited by writers revolve around lack of motivation. This may be a lack of motivation to begin writing or to continue writing once you have begun. Almost half of writers experience one or both of these problems. These difficulties essentially involve much of what is discussed above.

Motivation to begin writing and persevere is wonderful. However, if you believe you must always be motivated and feel excited about your writing before you can write, you could still be waiting for inspiration to strike when you could have written a complete trilogy, or several for that matter. You can motivate yourself to start and continue writing in a number of ways. Join a writing group, take a class at a local venue or online, get personal feedback through a critique group or look for online prompts, ideas and exercises. Try going to a conference or author event, such as a signing. Create rewards that you will work towards.

A powerful motivator is having your work published. For fiction writing and poetry, find submission opportunities that have a good chance of accepting your work. Look for calls for anthologies, as these usually have a theme, if not a well-defined prompt. If you meet the criteria set, you have a better chance of being published in a themed anthology than you do in publications that just want you to “send your best work.” Writers who write on almost any idea in almost any genre can submit to publications that just call for your best work. However, only those who feel they can write a good piece on the topic of the prompt will submit to an anthology.

Be sure to concentrate your efforts on types of writing that get your content viewed. A great way to do this is to guest posting for popular blogs. If you write a blog, you are familiar with the continuous effort it takes to publish regular posts on a regular schedule. Even the most popular bloggers experience the same struggle. Most will welcome someone who pitches a post that fits with their blog and offers to write a guest post. You can also link back to your blog or even your social media page. This will increase your impact from one guest post among the blogger's regular posts to becoming known by those who appreciate your writing and want to read more.

This being said, when going for motivation, this isn’t the time to challenge yourself by writing in a genre you’ve never tried before or to learn about a hot, trending topic you know nothing about. There are other times when pushing your boundaries can add to your skill level. When in need of motivation, you want to find something that rewards your efforts, gives you a positive feeling about your writing and which, ideally, can be shared with others. Having your work published in an anthology or a guest blog post written on a popular, extensively viewed blog can be just what it takes to more fully establish motivation and keep it from flagging.

Carry out searches regularly to identify calls for submissions that are open to beginners and emerging authors and have a high acceptance rate. Also, look for special issues or publications that have extended a call for submissions. This often means they didn’t receive enough work they want to publish and are eager to accept additional work to meet their publishing schedule. Look for announcements inviting guest blog posts, articles or position papers, and search for the most updated lists for the year. These have the greatest chances of still needing posts. Make sure the blog or website comes up on the first page of search results when you search for the topic or niche and type of platform.

Many people find setting word count goals and rewarding themselves when they reach one to be an effective inducement. Use an app like Pacemaker , which helps you set realistic goals and provides the means to visually see your progress. For creative writing, National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) is a great way to inspire motivation in a number of ways, including word count, camaraderie, the support of a community, resources and special offers for participants. For blog writing, join the A-Z Blog Challenge in April, which will give you a set goal per day that is easily obtainable, a community of support and bragging rights that will serve as a reward when you succeed.

Always Maintain a Level of Motivation

There is no doubt that writing is a difficult, demanding and lonely enterprise. Regardless of what type of writing you practice, you’ve got to come up with an idea, determine if it’s worth writing about, and then get the words down on an empty page or screen in a room, often by yourself. Even when you’ve mastered this piece of the creative process, you still have the job of showing up and writing every day, publishing your work, and finding an audience.

The path of every writer is filled with creative, personal, and business challenges that can wear away initial motivation and impact a writer’s self-confidence. It’s important to accept that maintaining a certain level of motivation, even on your worst writing days, is part of the work that needs to be done. Understanding that there are ways to accomplish this is the first step to establishing a successful writing life. Determining what strategies work for you and using them regularly will keep you moving toward your writing goals and decrease the times you feel ready to give up and throw in the towel.

© 2017 Natalie Frank

Natalie Frank on March 16, 2017:

You're welcome. Glad you found it useful.

Rob on March 13, 2017:

Really useful. Thanks for the suggestions.

Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on February 25, 2017:

Thanks for the positive feedback! I'm glad you find it useful. I hope some of my other posts will also be helpful to you.

Jean on February 25, 2017:

Great article. Great advice. Thanks for giving me a bunch of things to think about. I plan to try some of this.


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Essay on Winning And Losing

Students are often asked to write an essay on Winning And Losing in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Winning And Losing

What winning feels like.

Winning is a joyful experience. It makes us feel proud and happy about what we have achieved. When we win, it often means that our hard work and dedication have paid off. It’s like getting the best grade on a test after studying a lot. Winning can boost our confidence and encourage us to try new challenges.

The Other Side: Losing

Losing, on the other hand, is not as pleasant. It can make us feel sad or disappointed. But it’s important to remember that losing is a part of life. It teaches us to be humble and shows us that there is always room for improvement. Learning from our losses can make us stronger and better prepared for the next challenge.

Finding Balance

It’s crucial to find a balance between enjoying our wins and learning from our losses. Neither winning nor losing defines us completely. What matters most is the effort we put in and the lessons we learn along the way. Embracing both winning and losing can help us grow and become better at whatever we do.

250 Words Essay on Winning And Losing

The essence of winning and losing.

Winning and losing are two sides of the same coin. They are both integral parts of life and play a crucial role in shaping human experiences.

The Joy of Winning

The acceptance of losing.

Losing is a part of life. Not everyone can emerge victorious in every situation. Losing can be disheartening and painful, but it is essential to learn from defeats and grow from them. Accepting loss with grace and dignity is a sign of true sportsmanship and character.

Learning from Mistakes

Both winning and losing can be valuable learning experiences. Winning teaches humility and the importance of staying grounded. Losing, on the other hand, provides opportunities for introspection and self-improvement. Analyzing failures and learning from mistakes can lead to growth and future success.

Striving for Excellence

The pursuit of winning and the fear of losing can be powerful motivators. They drive individuals to push their limits and strive for excellence. This competitive spirit can bring out the best in people and lead to remarkable achievements.

Winning and losing are inherent parts of life’s journey. Both experiences contribute to personal growth and development. Embracing both outcomes with humility, grace, and a willingness to learn can lead to a fulfilling and balanced life.

500 Words Essay on Winning And Losing

What is winning.

Winning is achieving something that you have been working hard for. It can be a competition, a game, or a personal goal. When you win, you feel happy and proud of yourself. You may also feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

What is Losing?

How to deal with winning.

When you win, it is important to be humble and gracious. Do not brag about your victory or make fun of your opponents. Instead, thank the people who helped you win and give credit to your opponents for their hard work.

How to Deal with Losing

When you lose, it is important to be a good sport. Do not make excuses or blame others for your loss. Instead, accept your defeat and learn from your mistakes. Try to be positive and focus on the things that you can learn from the experience.

Winning and Losing in Life

Winning and losing are both a part of life. It is important to learn how to deal with both outcomes in a healthy way. When we win, we should be humble and gracious. When we lose, we should be a good sport and learn from our mistakes. By doing so, we can make the most of both our victories and our defeats.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

Happy studying!

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losing motivation essay

Alice Boyes Ph.D.

How to Get Things Done When You Have No Motivation

No motivation need to be productive try these solutions..

Posted March 22, 2021 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma

  • What Is Motivation?
  • Find a therapist near me
  • A lack of motivation can have many sources, from fatigue to anxiety to feelings of overwhelm. Identifying the root cause is key to overcoming it.
  • Low motivation makes it harder to dive into unpleasant tasks. Start with quick, easy, or satisfying tasks, even if they're not high-priority.
  • Once you've warmed up, tackle the work that needs to get done, making sure to take regular breaks and reward yourself for each achievement.

No motivation ? You're not alone, especially now. The five steps below can help you overcome the roadblock.

1. Accurately diagnose your feelings.

Many other emotions masquerade as low motivation. If you accurately diagnose your emotions, the path forward will be much clearer.

Your underlying feeling might be:

  • Overwhelmed
  • Social comparison

If you're overwhelmed, shrink your goal for today until you don't feel overwhelmed. If you are expecting yourself to work for longer than 90-minute blocks, or to get more than three-four hours of highly productive (intensely focused) work done per day, you're potentially psyching yourself out by having unrealistic expectations.

Mel Elías/Unsplash

If you're suffering from social comparison, talk to yourself compassionately (explained here ). Are you expecting yourself to perform as well as someone who has practiced more than you have?

If you're feeling fatigued, make sure the problem isn't that you've been resting too much. When people feel low, they sometimes rest a lot and then feel less energetic because of this. (This is easy to do. It actually happened to me over the weekend. There is no shame in it.)

These suggestions don't cover all scenarios, but when you accurately diagnose what you're feeling, you'll likely see a solution.

2. Don't "eat the frog."

The idea of eating the frog refers to doing the task you're least motivated to do first. This can be a great strategy, but if you're feeling low, trying to do your hardest task first can lead to you not getting out of bed.

Ask yourself, "What's the most productive task that is within my capacity right now?" For example, if you'd like to go for a run but you can't get yourself to do that, then going for a walk is better than staying in bed.

No productivity strategy is right for all circumstances. Varying your strategies can be beneficial rather than expecting yourself to always stick to the same robotic system for prioritizing.

3. Do a few minutes of quick but satisfying tasks.

Sometimes you need to warm up into action . To do this, try quick, satisfying tasks, like ordering the vitamins you've run out of, picking up dirty clothes, or changing your sheets.

If you do these tasks too long, they can distract you from more substantial work you need to get done. Five to ten minutes of these types of tasks is great, but don't do in excess of 30 minutes when you have more important things to do. When we overdo busy work, we risk being too tired to start more important work.

4. Plan your reward.

Plan to work on a high-priority task for 90 minutes, then take a break. How do you want to spend your break? Would you like to take a walk or lie out in the sun? Would you like to check a Reddit sub or Slack channel you visit daily? Would you like to message a friend? Would you like to browse swimsuits for a vacation you have coming up? Would you like to do a few minutes of yoga?

Planning and choosing take tremendous mental energy. If you wait to choose what you will do for your break until you're already exhausted from a period of focused work, you may not make a very satisfying choice. Plan your fun from the outset, when you have the cognitive energy to do that. When you choose in advance, you're likely to make a more rewarding choice.

5. Fuel yourself.

Understand how fuel influences your personal concentration , focus, and motivation. Currently, I like drinking electrolyte water in the mornings. Test out what works for you. For example, try eating a high-protein yogurt and see if that gives you the little boost you need. Physical boosts may have meaningful but small effects. For example, they might increase your energy by 10 percent. Small improvements like these can be hard to notice if you're not paying close attention, Consider structured self-experimentation like trying a strategy every day for a week, then no days for a week, and comparing.

losing motivation essay

Low and no motivation can be a sign of a serious problem like depression or anxiety . For example, for people who are chronically anxious, everything they need to do can feel scary and hard because they're constantly thinking of what could go wrong or ways they're inadequate.

For more serious problems like clinical depression or anxiety, you'll need more than just "tips," but tips like these can be part of the solution. (For more practical ideas along these lines, try this post , which includes a story about how I dealt with low motivation after a major disappointment .)

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LinkedIn image: pathdoc/Shutterstock

Alice Boyes Ph.D.

Alice Boyes, Ph.D., translates principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and social psychology into tips people can use in their everyday lives.

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Got a question about going to uni in the UK? Want to find out more and speak to others about their course/uni? Not sure if you can eat something that's been loafing in your fridge for 3 weeks, and gone a dubious shade of purple-green? This is the place for you. If you want to post a survey for your dissertation, please make sure your post includes all information required by the rules linked in our wiki!

Anyone else finishing uni soon but has lost motivation because same. Just want it to be over now.

I’m sick of looking at dissertation already. Apart from that, I still have an essay, a presentation and two exams left.

It’s funny because I started the year motivated to get a first but now I’ll be happy with a pass.

COVID-19: Long-term effects

Some people continue to experience health problems long after having COVID-19. Understand the possible symptoms and risk factors for post-COVID-19 syndrome.

Most people who get coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recover within a few weeks. But some people — even those who had mild versions of the disease — might have symptoms that last a long time afterward. These ongoing health problems are sometimes called post- COVID-19 syndrome, post- COVID conditions, long COVID-19 , long-haul COVID-19 , and post acute sequelae of SARS COV-2 infection (PASC).

What is post-COVID-19 syndrome and how common is it?

Post- COVID-19 syndrome involves a variety of new, returning or ongoing symptoms that people experience more than four weeks after getting COVID-19 . In some people, post- COVID-19 syndrome lasts months or years or causes disability.

Research suggests that between one month and one year after having COVID-19 , 1 in 5 people ages 18 to 64 has at least one medical condition that might be due to COVID-19 . Among people age 65 and older, 1 in 4 has at least one medical condition that might be due to COVID-19 .

What are the symptoms of post-COVID-19 syndrome?

The most commonly reported symptoms of post- COVID-19 syndrome include:

  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort
  • Lung (respiratory) symptoms, including difficulty breathing or shortness of breath and cough

Other possible symptoms include:

  • Neurological symptoms or mental health conditions, including difficulty thinking or concentrating, headache, sleep problems, dizziness when you stand, pins-and-needles feeling, loss of smell or taste, and depression or anxiety
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Heart symptoms or conditions, including chest pain and fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Digestive symptoms, including diarrhea and stomach pain
  • Blood clots and blood vessel (vascular) issues, including a blood clot that travels to the lungs from deep veins in the legs and blocks blood flow to the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
  • Other symptoms, such as a rash and changes in the menstrual cycle

Keep in mind that it can be hard to tell if you are having symptoms due to COVID-19 or another cause, such as a preexisting medical condition.

It's also not clear if post- COVID-19 syndrome is new and unique to COVID-19 . Some symptoms are similar to those caused by chronic fatigue syndrome and other chronic illnesses that develop after infections. Chronic fatigue syndrome involves extreme fatigue that worsens with physical or mental activity, but doesn't improve with rest.

Why does COVID-19 cause ongoing health problems?

Organ damage could play a role. People who had severe illness with COVID-19 might experience organ damage affecting the heart, kidneys, skin and brain. Inflammation and problems with the immune system can also happen. It isn't clear how long these effects might last. The effects also could lead to the development of new conditions, such as diabetes or a heart or nervous system condition.

The experience of having severe COVID-19 might be another factor. People with severe symptoms of COVID-19 often need to be treated in a hospital intensive care unit. This can result in extreme weakness and post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event.

What are the risk factors for post-COVID-19 syndrome?

You might be more likely to have post- COVID-19 syndrome if:

  • You had severe illness with COVID-19 , especially if you were hospitalized or needed intensive care.
  • You had certain medical conditions before getting the COVID-19 virus.
  • You had a condition affecting your organs and tissues (multisystem inflammatory syndrome) while sick with COVID-19 or afterward.

Post- COVID-19 syndrome also appears to be more common in adults than in children and teens. However, anyone who gets COVID-19 can have long-term effects, including people with no symptoms or mild illness with COVID-19 .

What should you do if you have post-COVID-19 syndrome symptoms?

If you're having symptoms of post- COVID-19 syndrome, talk to your health care provider. To prepare for your appointment, write down:

  • When your symptoms started
  • What makes your symptoms worse
  • How often you experience symptoms
  • How your symptoms affect your activities

Your health care provider might do lab tests, such as a complete blood count or liver function test. You might have other tests or procedures, such as chest X-rays, based on your symptoms. The information you provide and any test results will help your health care provider come up with a treatment plan.

In addition, you might benefit from connecting with others in a support group and sharing resources.

  • Long COVID or post-COVID conditions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 6, 2022.
  • Post-COVID conditions: Overview for healthcare providers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 6, 2022.
  • Mikkelsen ME, et al. COVID-19: Evaluation and management of adults following acute viral illness. Accessed May 6, 2022.
  • Saeed S, et al. Coronavirus disease 2019 and cardiovascular complications: Focused clinical review. Journal of Hypertension. 2021; doi:10.1097/HJH.0000000000002819.
  • AskMayoExpert. Post-COVID-19 syndrome. Mayo Clinic; 2022.
  • Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 24, 2022.
  • Patient tips: Healthcare provider appointments for post-COVID conditions. Accessed May 24, 2022.
  • Bull-Otterson L, et al. Post-COVID conditions among adult COVID-19 survivors aged 18-64 and ≥ 65 years — United States, March 2020 — November 2021. MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2022; doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7121e1.

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What is cloud computing?

Group of white spheres on light blue background

With cloud computing, organizations essentially buy a range of services offered by cloud service providers (CSPs). The CSP’s servers host all the client’s applications. Organizations can enhance their computing power more quickly and cheaply via the cloud than by purchasing, installing, and maintaining their own servers.

The cloud-computing model is helping organizations to scale new digital solutions with greater speed and agility—and to create value more quickly. Developers use cloud services to build and run custom applications and to maintain infrastructure and networks for companies of virtually all sizes—especially large global ones. CSPs offer services, such as analytics, to handle and manipulate vast amounts of data. Time to market accelerates, speeding innovation to deliver better products and services across the world.

What are examples of cloud computing’s uses?

Get to know and directly engage with senior mckinsey experts on cloud computing.

Brant Carson is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Vancouver office; Chandra Gnanasambandam and Anand Swaminathan are senior partners in the Bay Area office; William Forrest is a senior partner in the Chicago office; Leandro Santos is a senior partner in the Atlanta office; Kate Smaje is a senior partner in the London office.

Cloud computing came on the scene well before the global pandemic hit, in 2020, but the ensuing digital dash  helped demonstrate its power and utility. Here are some examples of how businesses and other organizations employ the cloud:

  • A fast-casual restaurant chain’s online orders multiplied exponentially during the 2020 pandemic lockdowns, climbing to 400,000 a day, from 50,000. One pleasant surprise? The company’s online-ordering system could handle the volume—because it had already migrated to the cloud . Thanks to this success, the organization’s leadership decided to accelerate its five-year migration plan to less than one year.
  • A biotech company harnessed cloud computing to deliver the first clinical batch of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate for Phase I trials in just 42 days—thanks in part to breakthrough innovations using scalable cloud data storage and computing  to facilitate processes ensuring the drug’s safety and efficacy.
  • Banks use the cloud for several aspects of customer-service management. They automate transaction calls using voice recognition algorithms and cognitive agents (AI-based online self-service assistants directing customers to helpful information or to a human representative when necessary). In fraud and debt analytics, cloud solutions enhance the predictive power of traditional early-warning systems. To reduce churn, they encourage customer loyalty through holistic retention programs managed entirely in the cloud.
  • Automakers are also along for the cloud ride . One company uses a common cloud platform that serves 124 plants, 500 warehouses, and 1,500 suppliers to consolidate real-time data from machines and systems and to track logistics and offer insights on shop floor processes. Use of the cloud could shave 30 percent off factory costs by 2025—and spark innovation at the same time.

That’s not to mention experiences we all take for granted: using apps on a smartphone, streaming shows and movies, participating in videoconferences. All of these things can happen in the cloud.

Learn more about our Cloud by McKinsey , Digital McKinsey , and Technology, Media, & Telecommunications  practices.

How has cloud computing evolved?

Going back a few years, legacy infrastructure dominated IT-hosting budgets. Enterprises planned to move a mere 45 percent of their IT-hosting expenditures to the cloud by 2021. Enter COVID-19, and 65 percent of the decision makers surveyed by McKinsey increased their cloud budgets . An additional 55 percent ended up moving more workloads than initially planned. Having witnessed the cloud’s benefits firsthand, 40 percent of companies expect to pick up the pace of implementation.

The cloud revolution has actually been going on for years—more than 20, if you think the takeoff point was the founding of Salesforce, widely seen as the first software as a service (SaaS) company. Today, the next generation of cloud, including capabilities such as serverless computing, makes it easier for software developers to tweak software functions independently, accelerating the pace of release, and to do so more efficiently. Businesses can therefore serve customers and launch products in a more agile fashion. And the cloud continues to evolve.

Circular, white maze filled with white semicircles.

Introducing McKinsey Explainers : Direct answers to complex questions

Cost savings are commonly seen as the primary reason for moving to the cloud but managing those costs requires a different and more dynamic approach focused on OpEx rather than CapEx. Financial-operations (or FinOps) capabilities  can indeed enable the continuous management and optimization of cloud costs . But CSPs have developed their offerings so that the cloud’s greatest value opportunity is primarily through business innovation and optimization. In 2020, the top-three CSPs reached $100 billion  in combined revenues—a minor share of the global $2.4 trillion market for enterprise IT services—leaving huge value to be captured. To go beyond merely realizing cost savings, companies must activate three symbiotic rings of cloud value creation : strategy and management, business domain adoption, and foundational capabilities.

What’s the main reason to move to the cloud?

The pandemic demonstrated that the digital transformation can no longer be delayed—and can happen much more quickly than previously imagined. Nothing is more critical to a corporate digital transformation than becoming a cloud-first business. The benefits are faster time to market, simplified innovation and scalability, and reduced risk when effectively managed. The cloud lets companies provide customers with novel digital experiences—in days, not months—and delivers analytics absent on legacy platforms. But to transition to a cloud-first operating model, organizations must make a collective effort that starts at the top. Here are three actions CEOs can take to increase the value their companies get from cloud computing :

  • Establish a sustainable funding model.
  • Develop a new business technology operating model.
  • Set up policies to attract and retain the right engineering talent.

How much value will the cloud create?

Fortune 500 companies adopting the cloud could realize more than $1 trillion in value  by 2030, and not from IT cost reductions alone, according to McKinsey’s analysis of 700 use cases.

For example, the cloud speeds up design, build, and ramp-up, shortening time to market when companies have strong DevOps (the combination of development and operations) processes in place; groups of software developers customize and deploy software for operations that support the business. The cloud’s global infrastructure lets companies scale products almost instantly to reach new customers, geographies, and channels. Finally, digital-first companies use the cloud to adopt emerging technologies and innovate aggressively, using digital capabilities as a competitive differentiator to launch and build businesses .

If companies pursue the cloud’s vast potential in the right ways, they will realize huge value. Companies across diverse industries have implemented the public cloud and seen promising results. The successful ones defined a value-oriented strategy across IT and the business, acquired hands-on experience operating in the cloud, adopted a technology-first approach, and developed a cloud-literate workforce.

Learn more about our Cloud by McKinsey and Digital McKinsey practices.

What is the cloud cost/procurement model?

Some cloud services, such as server space, are leased. Leasing requires much less capital up front than buying, offers greater flexibility to switch and expand the use of services, cuts the basic cost of buying hardware and software upfront, and reduces the difficulties of upkeep and ownership. Organizations pay only for the infrastructure and computing services that meet their evolving needs. But an outsourcing model  is more apt than other analogies: the computing business issues of cloud customers are addressed by third-party providers that deliver innovative computing services on demand to a wide variety of customers, adapt those services to fit specific needs, and work to constantly improve the offering.

What are cloud risks?

The cloud offers huge cost savings and potential for innovation. However, when companies migrate to the cloud, the simple lift-and-shift approach doesn’t reduce costs, so companies must remediate their existing applications to take advantage of cloud services.

For instance, a major financial-services organization  wanted to move more than 50 percent of its applications to the public cloud within five years. Its goals were to improve resiliency, time to market, and productivity. But not all its business units needed to transition at the same pace. The IT leadership therefore defined varying adoption archetypes to meet each unit’s technical, risk, and operating-model needs.

Legacy cybersecurity architectures and operating models can also pose problems when companies shift to the cloud. The resulting problems, however, involve misconfigurations rather than inherent cloud security vulnerabilities. One powerful solution? Securing cloud workloads for speed and agility : automated security architectures and processes enable workloads to be processed at a much faster tempo.

What kind of cloud talent is needed?

The talent demands of the cloud differ from those of legacy IT. While cloud computing can improve the productivity of your technology, it requires specialized and sometimes hard-to-find talent—including full-stack developers, data engineers, cloud-security engineers, identity- and access-management specialists, and cloud engineers. The cloud talent model  should thus be revisited as you move forward.

Six practical actions can help your organization build the cloud talent you need :

  • Find engineering talent with broad experience and skills.
  • Balance talent maturity levels and the composition of teams.
  • Build an extensive and mandatory upskilling program focused on need.
  • Build an engineering culture that optimizes the developer experience.
  • Consider using partners to accelerate development and assign your best cloud leaders as owners.
  • Retain top talent by focusing on what motivates them.

How do different industries use the cloud?

Different industries are expected to see dramatically different benefits from the cloud. High-tech, retail, and healthcare organizations occupy the top end of the value capture continuum. Electronics and semiconductors, consumer-packaged-goods, and media companies make up the middle. Materials, chemicals, and infrastructure organizations cluster at the lower end.

Nevertheless, myriad use cases provide opportunities to unlock value across industries , as the following examples show:

  • a retailer enhancing omnichannel  fulfillment, using AI to optimize inventory across channels and to provide a seamless customer experience
  • a healthcare organization implementing remote heath monitoring to conduct virtual trials and improve adherence
  • a high-tech company using chatbots to provide premier-level support combining phone, email, and chat
  • an oil and gas company employing automated forecasting to automate supply-and-demand modeling and reduce the need for manual analysis
  • a financial-services organization implementing customer call optimization using real-time voice recognition algorithms to direct customers in distress to experienced representatives for retention offers
  • a financial-services provider moving applications in customer-facing business domains to the public cloud to penetrate promising markets more quickly and at minimal cost
  • a health insurance carrier accelerating the capture of billions of dollars in new revenues by moving systems to the cloud to interact with providers through easier onboarding

The cloud is evolving  to meet the industry-specific needs of companies. From 2021 to 2024, public-cloud spending on vertical applications (such as warehouse management in retailing and enterprise risk management in banking) is expected to grow by more than 40 percent annually. Spending on horizontal workloads (such as customer relationship management) is expected to grow by 25 percent. Healthcare and manufacturing organizations, for instance, plan to spend around twice as much on vertical applications as on horizontal ones.

Learn more about our Cloud by McKinsey , Digital McKinsey , Financial Services , Healthcare Systems & Services , Retail , and Technology, Media, & Telecommunications  practices.

What are the biggest cloud myths?

Views on cloud computing can be clouded by misconceptions. Here are seven common myths about the cloud —all of which can be debunked:

  • The cloud’s value lies primarily in reducing costs.
  • Cloud computing costs more than in-house computing.
  • On-premises data centers are more secure than the cloud.
  • Applications run more slowly in the cloud.
  • The cloud eliminates the need for infrastructure.
  • The best way to move to the cloud is to focus on applications or data centers.
  • You must lift and shift applications as-is or totally refactor them.

How large must my organization be to benefit from the cloud?

Here’s one more huge misconception: the cloud is just for big multinational companies. In fact, cloud can help make small local companies become multinational. A company’s benefits from implementing the cloud are not constrained by its size. In fact, the cloud shifts barrier to entry skill rather than scale, making it possible for a company of any size to compete if it has people with the right skills. With cloud, highly skilled small companies can take on established competitors. To realize the cloud’s immense potential value fully, organizations must take a thoughtful approach, with IT and the businesses working together.

For more in-depth exploration of these topics, see McKinsey’s Cloud Insights collection. Learn more about Cloud by McKinsey —and check out cloud-related job opportunities if you’re interested in working at McKinsey.

Articles referenced include:

  • “ Six practical actions for building the cloud talent you need ,” January 19, 2022, Brant Carson , Dorian Gärtner , Keerthi Iyengar, Anand Swaminathan , and Wayne Vest
  • “ Cloud-migration opportunity: Business value grows, but missteps abound ,” October 12, 2021, Tara Balakrishnan, Chandra Gnanasambandam , Leandro Santos , and Bhargs Srivathsan
  • “ Cloud’s trillion-dollar prize is up for grabs ,” February 26, 2021, Will Forrest , Mark Gu, James Kaplan , Michael Liebow, Raghav Sharma, Kate Smaje , and Steve Van Kuiken
  • “ Unlocking value: Four lessons in cloud sourcing and consumption ,” November 2, 2020, Abhi Bhatnagar , Will Forrest , Naufal Khan , and Abdallah Salami
  • “ Three actions CEOs can take to get value from cloud computing ,” July 21, 2020, Chhavi Arora , Tanguy Catlin , Will Forrest , James Kaplan , and Lars Vinter

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Guest Essay

Hunter Biden Should Take a Plea Deal. Quickly.

A photograph of Hunter Biden standing between two white columns, gesturing toward another man in a suit.

By Sarah Isgur

Ms. Isgur is a senior editor at The Dispatch and the host of the legal podcast “Advisory Opinions.” She served in the Department of Justice from 2017-2019 as the director of the Office of Public Affairs and senior counsel to the deputy attorney general during the Russia investigation.

Hunter Biden faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on three felony gun charges in a trial that is set to begin in Wilmington, Del., on Monday. In the meantime, his father is behind in many polls, his financial benefactor is reportedly “tapped out” and his best legal arguments require gutting federal gun control laws. An embarrassing trial that he is likely to lose will only make things worse.

An early plea agreement — in which he agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement on the gun charges — fell apart last summer. But a criminal defendant can accept a plea deal from the prosecution anytime before the jury returns its verdict, which means that he might still have a chance to avoid a full trial.

If he can, he should.

To bring federal charges, the Department of Justice manual advises that a prosecutor should believe that the defendant is guilty, that the prosecutor believes he has evidence that will prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the prosecutor believes that a reasonable jury would convict the defendant. In practice, this means that once the Department of Justice has indicted you, they believe they will win. And they almost always do.

Over a 12-month period ending last fall, just 290 of the nearly 72,000 federal criminal defendants charged by the Justice Department were acquitted at trial. That’s less than one half of 1 percent. (Of course, only 1,379 were convicted at trial — a paltry 2 percent.) The vast majority facing a D.O.J. indictment decided either to plead guilty outright or accept a plea deal, believing that the prosecutors had correctly weighed their chances of winning in front of a jury before bringing the case in the first place.

Hunter Biden has argued that he was only charged because of his last name. And he has a point — there are far more gun crimes committed than can be handled by federal prosecutors. The main charge is that he had a gun while using cocaine, which is a rarely used part of the statute. But that’s usually because drug use is hard to prove compared to other gun charges, like being a felon with a gun. Here, though, prosecutors have noted that “investigators literally found drugs on the pouch where the defendant had kept his gun.” And when prosecutors do bring this charge, people who are found guilty are often sentenced to real prison time — over a year for someone in Hunter Biden’s shoes.

That would be enough of an incentive for most people to plead guilty to federal gun charges. Hunter Biden has even more.

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