Ever have a day where you know you have plenty that you need to get done, but for some reason, you just can’t seem to cross anything off your to-do list? The idea of getting anything done suddenly feels impossible and you find yourself wondering if you’ll be able to get anything accomplished. We’ve all been there. In fact, that is exactly where I have been the last few days. As frustrating as those days can be, the trick is to recognize when it’s happening and what to do to fix it. And after working through this very thing these last few days, I wanted to share with you guys a few things that really changed my productivity game that I like to call: 5 ways to start being productive when it’s the last thing you want to do.
So you realize your day is going nowhere. Great. Now the important question is what can you do about it?
The good news is it doesn’t have to take much. While these may not work for everyone, they have seriously helped me out on my worst of unproductive days, specifically when a kickstart to get my day back on track. So next time you are finding yourself in a similar situation, try giving one of these tricks (or all of them!) a try and see if you don’t see a difference in your productivity!
- Change up the scenery: sometimes one of the fastest ways to jumpstart your productivity is to get out of the physical space you’re in. For me, my daughter and I spend a lot of our day in the family room, so just getting up and walking around my house for a minute can have a major effect on my attitude. And this can be applied anywhere. Whether you’re at your office or at home, the next time you feel unproductive and not quite sure what to do about it, get up and walk around for a minute. Get out of your usual space and see if it doesn’t make a difference on your productivity.
- Get up and stretch: sometimes being stagnant is the root of your productivity problems. When this happens, take a moment to do some simple stretching. Get blood moving. This works wonders to clear your thoughts and help you refocus and get a few things done.
- Turn off potential distractions: this means social media, rechecking your email for the 10th time, mindlessly watching reruns of Fixer Upper (this one gets me every time!). Whatever it is that sucks you in and kills blocks of time without you even realizing it, turn it off! If this is extra hard for you, try turning it off for a certain amount of time (say 15 minutes), and see if you can’t get at least one thing done during your break.
- Make a list: sometimes one of the biggest deterrents of productivity for me is feeling overwhelmed by everything I have to get done. If this happens to you, try making a list of everything you want to get done. Sometimes seeing it all out in front of you makes it feel a bit more manageable.
- Give yourself a little bit of grace with your list: sometimes there are days where we just can’t get things done. When it’s one of those really bad days, take a look back at your list. Is there at least one thing you can do? Even if it’s something simple, getting at least one thing done on a super unproductive day is a major accomplishment in my book. We’re human, it happens, and as long as it’s not an everyday thing it’s okay to give yourself a little bit of grace in the productivity department.
So what do you think? See there was nothing scary on my list. The truth is we all have those days where being productive is just the last thing we want to do, but the good news is if you want to shake it off and still get a few things done it only takes a minute or two to get your focus back. Next time you’re struggling with it, try giving one of these tricks a try! Even though they sound simple, you may be surprised by the impact they can have on your productivity game.
What about you? How do you refocus when being productive is the last thing you want to do? Sound off in the comments below!