no motivation and adhd tips

ADHD & No Motivation

a lack of motivation

A lack of motivation is a common challenge that many people with ADHD experience. The brain’s reward system, responsible for motivation, may function differently in those with ADHD, making it challenging to connect immediate actions with long-term goals, impacting their ability to initiate and persist in tasks.

why people with ADHD have no motivation
why determining the feelings is important for ADHD motivation

Why feelings matter

Paying attention to how we feel might offer important answers to how to overcome the motivation bridge. Based on different feelings, we can make a plan to help ourselves take action and build motivation.


Overwhelm can lead to a lack of motivation as the sheer volume of tasks or information can create a sense of stress and anxiety.

  • Take a moment to regulate your nervous system      (take a walk; do a breathing exercise, journal).

  • Break the task down into small, clear steps.

  • If things are still unclear, ask yourself, “What information is currently missing?” and spend time researching or connecting with people who can help clear things up.

  • Organize it all on paper (connect steps together, decide on deadlines, write down how and when these steps will be done, what needs to be done today or tomorrow).


When we are tired, our ability to concentrate, make decisions, and initiate tasks diminishes.

  • Do something nice and relaxing for yourself. Nothing will come from pushing yourself harder when you need to take a step back. If things urgently need to get done, ask yourself, “What’s the bare minimum that I can do? What’s most important right now?” and then take time to take care of yourself. 🧡


Understimulation can cause a lack of motivation as we might find tasks or environments uninteresting or insufficiently challenging. Without adequate stimulation, the brain may not release enough dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with motivation and reward. This lack of engagement can lead to apathy and a decreased desire to initiate or complete tasks.

  • Change your environment (go to a coffee shop, library, or body-double with a friend).

  • Listen to an engaging podcast or an energy/focus/motivation-boosting playlist.

  • Get yourself a treat (what would make working on this task more enjoyable?).

  • Instead of focusing on getting the whole task done, focus on the first step; this allows you to build momentum.


Avoidance can lead to a lack of motivation through a reinforcing cycle: when we avoid tasks due to discomfort or anxiety, we experience temporary relief. However, this avoidance prevents us from experiencing the rewards of completing the task. Over time, the pattern of avoidance can perpetuate a cycle where the anticipation of discomfort becomes a significant barrier to motivation.

If you feel resistant to do this task, ask yourself:

  • Why is this task important to me?
  • What will happen if I don’t get it done?
  • What will happen when this task is done? And then what…?
  • What am I avoiding by not doing this task? (Again, it can point to such things as overwhelm or boredom.)

coaching can help!

ADHD coaching can be instrumental in helping ADHD’ers improve motivation through various strategies and techniques:

  • Goal setting
  • Accountability
  • Understanding strengths and values
  • Building structures
  • Self-awareness
  • Skill building
  • Stress management


If you’d like to work together, please reach out here. 😊

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