Sometimes we feel not very productive and we lack motivation. Lack of motivation can hit because we are not able to function well or do much. And things feel stagnant. And like everything just takes too much energy. So there are tips I picked up for this due to depression.

Chronic illness: Productivity and motivation hacks

Get dressed in the morning

I know we often cannot leave the house. And we can get very isolated as a result. And a lot of the time we want to be comfortable. So we wear our PJs all day. But PJs mentally have a sort of idea attached to them. And that idea is ‘it is time to relax and do nothing’ or ‘it is time to rest’. And it can make you less inclined to do anything just psychologically. So every morning get dressed. I am not saying dressed Up or uncomfortable clothes. Or even a bra… for the women out there… because I hate bras with FM pain. But in like loose comfortable clothing. It will mentally make you want to be more productive. It does for me and I have read it in a few places as well.


After you are up and shake off any morning grogginess and fatigue assess your fatigue and pain level to see how you need to pace your day and where your limit will be. Be realistic with goals which you can break into smaller goals.

15 minutes

This tip is one for everyday housework which we all know can just suck up that wee bit of energy we actually have. And this tip suggests we do 15 minutes a day. Pick a small area and a small task and do it for just 15 minutes. Like cleaning the sink and around it. Small things, different areas. And you feel good that you did something. It feels good to do a little bit every day.


For those days with a little more energy do a little bit of decluttering in one area. Like just your closet or just your drawers or just the kitchen. It actually is a great feeling even when it takes days to actually conquer that one area. Feels good.

Put away

In one room do a sort of tidy up. So papers or things out of their place… just put back. It also is a boost to your feeling of productivity. Because we can get a pretty untidy house when we are so tired that the effort to then put those things back where they belong. Like filing… always stacks up on me. And when I have enough energy I do this to get those important documents put where I can actually find them when I need to.


I read in a book with motivational issues due to depression to do normal things you used to enjoy until your brain’s reward system kicks back in line. And it actually is very hard to do when you are depressed but it is also hard when we lose motivation when we can’t do many of the things we enjoy.  So we do less and it gets harder to want to exert effort on things we can see enjoy. It is why I keep writing even though the dizziness makes it hard to think, wite, or see any error that I made tons more of. But I keep doing it because I know I feel better mentally and emotionally when I do it regularly.

Break it down

For anything that is going to take time break it up and make sure you get rest periods in there. And if you need to go back to that task the next day. Bit by bit conquer things that you want to get done.

Down time

I have peak functionality in the morning so that is when I pace my activities. After that, it is all downhill pain and vertigo wise so anything after that is iffy and carefully paced. And so after the morning I usually have a nap. And some down time where I do things like mild hobbies.


Plan for bad days to slow you down to just rest day. And understand just because you couldn’t complete a task doesn’t mean you failed. Every bit counts towards small achievable goals. And if lists work for you, make a list of the small goals you want to achieve the next day or through the week. And if you do this you can set up a reward system every time you do knock one off… because reward systems help boost motivation.

Avoid multitasking

Multitasking takes too much energy. And it Seems like nothing is actually being achieved because it is all over the place. So focus on your task at hand.

You may have other tricks but these were the specific ones I learned about or was told to do to help boost our sense of productivity, help with motivation to do things, and for our mental and emotional wellbeing. I know bad days. Bad days are a no-go. But this isn’t a failure, it is just part of the coping process. What is fundamental to remember is we Must pace on Good days as well no matter how much we think we can do… this could cause a boom and bust of pain. Leading to less functionality following the boom for days or longer.

See more:

Motivation tips for work

Boom and Bust cycle

Motivation? What motivation

Useable hours and productivity
Buy Me a Coffee at

Something to read:

23 thoughts on “Chronic illness: Productivity and motivation hacks

  1. I soooo needed this! I’ve been frozen. Overwhelmed with where/how to begin. We are selling our house, August 1st it goes on the market. I have packed one box. So I will follow your suggestions, using boxes as I tidy up areas. The getting dressed is going to be a major change, very much needed. Thanks Nikki!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great information Nikki……….I get so overwhelmed with everything on my plate and not enough energy to do it. Breaking things down to 15 min. is something i will start trying today. Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some great tips here, especially the decluttering one! My Husband and I just recently completed a full house de-clutter, which took us more than six months. It has been one of the best things we’ve done!!! The house looks fantastic and is WAY easier to clean & maintain. It also showed us all that we had and was a reminder that we don’t need anything else. Thanks for the tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really love the 15 minute rule. As soon as you notice, you are doing a certain task for hours. All starts with only 15 minutes. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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