How to Get in Gear When You Don’t Want to go to Work

You certainly wouldn’t be the first person to confess that they don’t want to go to work. Everyday countless people across the globe wake up and are just not feeling it. You aren’t alone in wishing you could just stay in bed or do quite literally anything else. But sadly, going to work, even when you don’t want to, is a fact of life. Learning how to motivate yourself to get ready for work and give yourself a little extra pep can make those tough mornings go by a little faster.

Why don’t you want to go to work?

First and foremost, you need to understand why you’re dragging your heels to get to your desk or job. There’s little point patching up the symptoms but not addressing the cause as you’ll only end up back at square one. Ignoring any underlying factors triggering your dissatisfaction at work or your reluctance to go can have some serious consequences for your mental and physical health in the long run. The longer you leave it, the more chance you have of developing a mental health condition like depression or burnout. So, before we get to the motivation tips and tricks, take a moment to work out why you really don’t want to go to work.

  • You’re tired: This might be a one off after a rubbish night’s sleep, in which case it’s totally normal to want to stay in bed! After a poor night’s sleep it can be difficult to muster up the motivation to do literally anything, particularly your job! But the good news is, it’s usually rectifiable after a few nights of proper rest so the feeling won’t last. If you’ve been struggling with an ongoing poor sleep cycle, it’s probably time to switch up your night-time routine and make a couple of lifestyle changes that promote a better sleep cycle.
  • You don’t like your job: If you don’t enjoy what you do every day, or you don’t get any satisfaction from it, it can be so hard to motivate yourself to get there day after day. Doing the same thing each day, particularly when it’s not giving you want you need, can sap the energy right out of you and make you resent having to work. There’s a really simple solution for this one…
  • You’re stressed: If you know that as soon as you clock on you’re going to be inundated with emails or a big project then it’s enough to make anyone procrastinate going to work! A little bit of stress is normal, particularly if you are invested in the work that you do, however, just make sure it isn’t spiralling out of control and your stress levels are reaching an unhealthy level. Stress can lead to a number of mental and physical health conditions and is the number 1 trigger for burnout.
  • You’re stagnant: Feeling unsatisfied, bored, or stagnant at work? That will do it! When there’s nothing to work towards or an end goal in sight it can be really hard to find the energy to care enough about going to work and really sap the motivation straight out of you.
  • You’re having issues at work: No one wants to put themselves in a difficult or upsetting situation every day. If you’re having trouble at work, perhaps with a difficult boss or unfriendly co-workers, getting yourself in gear to go to work is much harder than usual.

How to get yourself in gear

So, now you’ve pinpointed why you don’t fancy going to work today (or perhaps any day), you can start to introduce some new techniques to get you ready to take each day at work by storm.

Make your bed in the morning

We’re starting off small but don’t roll your eyes. Doing the same positive activity every morning is how you build a ‘keystone habit’. These little tasks may seem inconsequential, but actually kickstart a chain reaction of positivity throughout the day! Making your bed every morning gives us a little victory to be proud of (and makes us feel like we’ve got ourselves together) and sets us up for a productive and positive day.

Dress for success

Another cliché, we hear you sigh. Dressing like the boss you are is sometimes all it takes to get you in the headspace to work. Whether it’s throwing on your favourite tie or wearing your most kick-ass pair of heels, just dressing like you own the show can do wonders for your confidence and motivation. Remember, dress for the job you want, not the job you have, and you’ll be totally ready to take over the world by lunchtime.


We don’t mean up and leave, although if it’s a new job you want- then you should totally do that. If you have the flexibility to do so, grab your laptop and move somewhere else in the office. If you work from home, try a different room in the house, or even a local coffee shop if your work permits it. Just changing the scenery can make a big difference for your mindset and perspective.

Take regular breaks

No, this isn’t counterproductive! Taking regular, scheduled breaks has actually been found to increase your concentration. Particularly if your involves sitting in one place a long time, taking regular break to get up and move around is really good for your body and your mindset. Testing out concentration techniques, like the pomodoro technique, is a really good way to discipline yourself to concentrate for a set period of time and then rewarding yourself with a 5-10 minute break.

Focus on your goals

Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in what’s going on right now and forget to look at the bigger picture. If you’re not exactly where you want to be at the moment, that can make less inclined to rush to work. Remind yourself of where you want to be and the path that you’re on, every day you go to work you’re taking one step towards that end goal. Create a vision board or start journaling to keep reminding yourself of what you’re capable of and what you’re working towards.

Evaluate your job

If you wake up every morning dreading going to work and dragging your heels to the front door, evaluate if it’s really the right place for you. Feeling drained and unsatisfied day in and day out can end up being very detrimental for your mental health and eventually lead to burnout or depression. Take a moment to think about whether or not this is the right job for you and if it’s serving you more than it’s taking from you. Even if it’s benefitting your career trajectory, feeling rubbish everyday isn’t going to help you achieve what you need to. If it’s really not bringing you any joy, consider looking for a change. 

Waking up every day ready to bounce out of bed and get to work is probably a little unrealistic. We all have a rubbish night’s sleep from time to time or wake up just not feeling it. Don’t beat yourself when you have those days and just take a minute to check in with your body and assess what it’s asking for. If those days are cropping up more often than not, it’s time to put these tactics into practice to get the motivation back again. Switching up your routine can make you feel like a brand new person and get those energy levels right back to where we want them to be. And if that doesn’t do it, perhaps it’s time for a change.

Make mornings a little bit better for everyone with the help of Morale. You won’t be the only one battling days where you just don’t want to go to work, so there’s a good chance other people in your network are feeling like that as well. Send a positive affirmation every morning to motivate them to get to work and give their self esteem a boost at the same time. Affirming their self confidence will give them a little push to keep striving towards that end goal, whatever it might look like for them. Plus, showing support for others will give you a little boost at the same time.

The Morale app is available for download from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

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