Whether you run your own company or work for a major organization, chances are you’ve experienced feelings of unproductiveness at some point or another. Is it frustrating? Of course.
However, a seemingly idle morning or afternoon doesn’t have to be considered a failure. In fact, there are plenty of ways to not only turn your day around, but to change your perspective altogether.
Remove distractions: It’s easy to get caught up answering emails and calls all day. They seem like such pressing issues sometimes. If you find yourself dealing with everyone else’s problems, you might need to shut down. Sometimes it’s better to turn off the phone and close the email inbox so you can focus on a single task.
Do something that adds value to your life in some way, even if it’s not work related: Feeling unproductive can have a spiraling effect on your entire day. To help you maintain a positive mindset consider jumping into something that you value, even if it’s not the project at hand. Whether that means finally folding a pile of laundry or organizing the paperwork at your desk, find something to do that will make you feel useful.
Change your environment: Sometimes your environment is the cause of your “unproductivity”. If you are working from home and the neighbors are being too loud, that’s a problem. Or maybe there’s construction in your building. Or maybe you’re in the office and your coworker is super loud on the phone.
Eliminate the threat, eliminate what makes you unproductive. Even if you cannot blame your lack of productivity on what’s around you, it might still be a good idea to get a fresh start, somewhere else. Grab what you need and go to a coffee shop or go to the library. Or go to another cubicle in the office, or go into a different room in your home. It might be helpful to change your environment and give yourself a break and a fresh new start. That alone might just make you more productive and start changing your day around.
At the end of the day, just walk away: It can be tempting to bring work home. But at the end of the day, overworking will do more harm than good. It will lead to a lack of sleep, less time spent with family and friends, missed exercise classes and, overall, less quality work.
Are you feeling unproductive? Don’t start working more. Just start working differently to get things done.