How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It - Anthony Ventress

Inspiration And Insights
3 min readJun 17, 2023
Image from Unsplash by Damir Samatkulov

As a firm believer in the power of teamwork and its impact on productivity and success, I came across an insightful article that resonated with my passion for collaboration within the workforce. The article published in Harvard Business Review titled “How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It” by Ayelet Fishbach, delves into the topic of staying productive at work even when facing a lack of motivation.

“Motivating yourself is hard.”

In today’s fast-paced work environment, it’s natural to experience moments when our motivation wanes. However, as someone who values the collective strength of a team, maintaining productivity, even during these challenging times, is crucial to achieving our goals.

The article provides valuable insights into strategies for overcoming a lack of motivation. It emphasizes the importance of building routines and habits to help us power through those moments when we’re just not feeling it. By establishing a consistent work routine and creating a conducive environment, we can create a sense of structure and accountability that keeps us on track.

“An activity is intrinsically motivated when it’s seen as its own end; it’s extrinsically motivated when it’s seen as serving a separate, ulterior purpose — earning you a reward or allowing you to avoid punishment.”

Another key point highlighted in the article is the significance of setting specific goals. When we have a clear understanding of what we want to accomplish, it becomes easier to channel our efforts and stay focused. Moreover, sharing these goals with our team members fosters a sense of collective accountability and creates an environment where everyone is working towards a common objective.

One particularly interesting insight from the article is the concept of “emotional agility.” It suggests that acknowledging and accepting our emotions, even when we’re not feeling motivated, can help us navigate through them effectively. By recognizing our emotions and reframing negative thoughts, we can regain our focus and approach our work with a renewed sense of purpose.

“The trick is to focus on the elements of the work that you do find enjoyable.”

The article also emphasizes the power of social connections and the role they play in maintaining motivation. It suggests seeking support from our teammates, sharing our struggles, and leveraging the collective wisdom of the group. Working collaboratively and leveraging the strengths of each team member not only enhances productivity but also cultivates a sense of camaraderie and support.

“Giving advice may be an even more effective way to overcome motivational deficits.”

In conclusion, as someone who is passionate about teamwork, this article served as a powerful reminder of the importance of finding ways to stay motivated and productive, even during challenging times. By establishing routines, setting goals, embracing emotional agility, and fostering strong social connections within our teams, we can overcome moments of low motivation and continue working towards our shared objectives. Together, we can unleash the true potential of teamwork and achieve remarkable results.

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Anthony Ventress is a senior technical and services executive in the medical device industry. An inclusive leader with a global cultural perspective, he is devoted to building authentic, long-term relationships. He leads with a never-failing positive attitude that helps companies turn problems into solutions, drive growth and revenue, and keep teams motivated and aligned.