In a perfect world, we’d all have a productive day, even when we don’t feel like working. In reality, many of us will face a slump or simply not feel like lifting a finger when there’s still tons of work to be done.
Working on the business you love can actually seem just dreadful when you have to force yourself to be productive. Instead, I encourage you to take a step back and get motivated again.
This will spark creativity along with the urge to start checking tasks off your to-do list. Here are a few things you can do to ease into a productive work day when it’s actually the last thing on your mind.
Your first step is to get organized. Clearing your space and schedule can in turn help clear your mind and allow you to regain control over your day.
Lay everything out including what you want to do, what you need to do, and when you plan on doing it. This may lead to overwhelm initially, but it also causes you to focus and get into a better mindset for work. Getting organized at the start of your day makes it easier for you to actually begin working when you’re ready and waste little time.
Start With A Small Reward
We all tend to reward ourselves in some way after we finish a task or a long hard day of work. However, have you ever thought about giving yourself a small reward before you do anything?
Start out your day with a warm cup of your favorite coffee or tea. Next, read your favorite blog post or listen to a podcast. During breaks, I like to “reward” myself by watching videos on YouTube. There will be days when I don’t feel like working or being productive. Those days, I sit down at the computer and watch a YouTube video for 10-15 minutes before I start working.
Starting out with small rewards like these can help you wake up, improve your mood, and slowly ease into working.
Change the Scenery
When you’re not feeling the least bit productive, sometimes it helps to change up the scenery and work somewhere else. If you normally work at home, try heading to the library or a coworking space.
If you need some time away from the office, visit a local coffee shop or even work outside weather permitting. That way, it doesn’t feel like the same old daily grind.
Start With Easy/Mindless Tasks And Time It
Is that big project freaking you out? Set it aside and start with easier, mindless tasks first like checking email and responding to email, outlining and editing, social media marketing, or even scheduled meetings.
It’s best to do these types of things when your energy levels are low. As they rise, you’ll be ready to knock out your more intense projects. Also, be sure to time these smaller tasks and set deadlines for completion. Timing your tasks will help you stay focused and boost productivity.
Break Up That Larger Task/Project to Bite-Sized Pieces
Okay, so now it’s time to face that big complex project. It will take up a significant amount of your time and energy. If it’s absolutely not due that day, feel free to break it up into smaller pieces.
Getting through half or a quarter of the work in one day is better than doing nothing at all. Just because you feel a productivity slump doesn’t mean you have to accomplish nothing. If the task is due that day, you can still break your work throughout the day. Add it in chunks of time to work on the project in between easier tasks and breaks.
To Have a Productive Day, Get In The Zone
After completing all of the above, the only thing that’s left to do is get into the zone. Start by checking things one at a time off your to-do list. Eliminate distractions by closing your email tab, silencing your phone and other notifications.
It may take you longer to get into the zone on days like this, but by getting organized, starting out small, rewarding yourself, and breaking up big tasks, you’ll secretly push yourself into a productive state and become amazed at how much you are able to get done during a day when you didn’t feel your strongest.
How do you fight through your productivity slumps and still manage to get work done?