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Motivation tips for when you ‘can’t be bothered

By July 26, 2021 No Comments
Can't be bothered

Do you struggle with getting motivated to do the tasks you want to be doing because of the thought ‘I just can’t be bothered?’. We’ve got some motivation tips to help you with that.

‘I can’t be bothered’ is a really tricky thought to deal with it, because how do you feel bothered, when you’re not?

Why saying ‘I can’t be bothered’ destroys motivation

The key to overcoming the ‘I can’t be bothered thought is to realise that it’s actually a protective mechanism. When you understand why this thought comes up, what’s really going on, you’ll be able to overcome it.

The thought ‘I can’t be bothered’ starts with the idea that the thing we want to do will be hard.

Obviously, doing something is more effort than doing nothing, and it’s a short jump from ‘this will require effort’ to ‘this will be hard to complete’.

But, these thoughts are still actually okay. The real killer is when the word TOO enters the mix.

Once you tell yourself something is ‘too hard’ what you are really saying to yourself is ‘If I try, I’ll fail’.

This is what too hard means – too hard to complete.

And once you think you can’t complete the task, you’re essentially saying ‘if I try, I’ll fail’. And if that’s the case, then why would you bother? You’d be putting in the work, without getting the result.

Increase your motivation with these tips

To challenge the thought ‘I can’t be bothered’, you’ll need to be honest about what’s going on. Acknowledge that you’re scared that whatever you can do, won’t be enough.

Once you’ve done that, come back to the earlier thoughts and use these as the basis for a super helpful thought. Thoughts like ‘this will require effort’ can be changed into:

‘This will require effort, but the result is definitely worth it’


‘This will be hard to complete, but when I’ve completed it, I’ll feel great’

These thoughts are helpful because now you’ve acknowledged that your success is coming. You’ve turned the undercurrent of failure into statements of achievement, while still dealing with the reality that work is required.

Balanced thoughts, where you acknowledge  reality, but also talk about yourself and your ability in an optimistic, strengths-based way, are ideal motivators.

If you’d like more motivation tips and tricks, check out these blog posts:

The top 3 habits of successful people

How to get more motivated

And kiss ‘can’t be bothered’ goodbye!

Lana Hall

Author Lana Hall

Lana Hall is a Brisbane Psychologist at Sage & Sound in Woolloongabba. She is trained to provide proven psychological strategies and counselling that can help people effectively manage anxiety, depression, work stress, relationship problems and everything mental health. Lana is a published author and has been featured in HuffPost and Australian Women's Weekly.

More posts by Lana Hall