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 to 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 dishwasher 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 that 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.”

Unproductivity is OK.

What else do you do when you feel unproductive?

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