Here’s what to do when you feel unproductive

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Feel­ing unpro­duc­tive? Don’t worry—that’s nor­mal. Here are some sim­ple tweaks to get back on track.

What to do when you’re feeling unproductive:

  1. Don’t feel guilty. If you are feel­ing unpro­duc­tive, it’s com­mon to feel guilty. There’s pres­sure in our cul­ture to be con­stant­ly pro­duc­ing and per­form­ing. But ALL of us have moments when we are not productive—and that’s part of being human. No need to beat your­self up about it.
  2. Accept it. If you’re hav­ing an unpro­duc­tive day—own it. Today’s gonna be an unpro­duc­tive day—and that’s going to have to be OK! Seri­ous­ly. Maybe you need a “per­son­al day” to do some­thing enjoy­able. Read or watch some­thing good…have some you time.

  3. Ask your­self: have I had enough rest? Some­times we’re not pro­duc­tive because we haven’t had good, per­son­al rest. New research shows that prop­er sleep is cru­cial to suc­cess. When we’re sleep deprived, our mood is bad, our head is fog­gy, and we’re no good for our­selves or oth­ers. Maybe the most “pro­duc­tive” thing for you to do would be take a nap or go to bed ear­ly. Rest is key to pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Tomorrow’s pro­duc­tiv­i­ty start’s with tonight’s sleep.

  4. Clean your fridge. I once heard some­one said they had to clean their fridge to real­ize they need­ed a career change. Clean­ing your fridge is a form of pro­duc­tive pro­cras­ti­na­tion. While you’re at it…Is the dish wash­er emp­ty? Is the sink clear? Is the garage tidy? Car vac­u­umed? Desk draw­er cleaned out? Don’t under­es­ti­mate this! You might just fig­ure some­thing BIG out if you deal with the lit­tle things in your envi­ron­ment.

  5. Take a hot show­er or bath. We are more relaxed when hot soap and water sur­round us. And when we’re more relaxed, we’re able to think clear­ly about what mat­ters. A bath can help to wind down your day and pro­vide a smooth tran­si­tion to sleep.

  6. Purge your mind. A com­mon rea­son we are unpro­duc­tive is because we have not iden­ti­fied what we need to do. Writ­ing it all down doesn’t get it done, but it will make you feel a whole lot bet­ter. Get it all out—everything on your mind.

  7. Change your clothes and shoes. Some­one said dress for the job you want to have, not the job you have. If you’re feel­ing unpro­duc­tive, think about the mate­ri­als you’re wear­ing. Are they com­fort­able? Do you feel con­fi­dent and clear? Tai­lor your wardrobe so you feel like your “best self.”

[share­able cite=“Josh Mitchell”]Unproductivity is OK![/shareable]

[reminder]What else do you do when you feel unproductive?[/reminder]

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