There are quite a few ways to rescue an unproductive day. We all have those days when no matter how hard we try, we just can’t focus well enough in order to get our work done. Unproductive days can really affect your performance if they happen quite frequently and in the long term, they can even interfere with your well-being, since you won’t be able to reach your goals. Those kind of days can make you feel extremely frustrated, because nothing you do seems to help you focus on your tasks and this happens especially when you have a ton of work to do and when you’re already stressed because you don’t have the time to do everything. Don’t despair though, because there are quite a few ways to rescue an unproductive day that you should consider.
One of the most efficient ways to rescue an unproductive day is by de-cluttering your desk. I know that you might think you have a certain order among that chaos but let’s face it: you can't even find the things you need to start working on your current tasks. Even if you think that cleaning your desk might take you too much time and now would not be a good time to do it because you are too busy, spending half an hour putting your things in order will help you relax, will help you see things more clearly and will even motivate you to start working.
If you have a lot of things you need to take care of and no matter what you do or how hard you try, you just can't focus on your task, try breaking it down into smaller pieces and see what you can do now when it’s a bit hard for you to concentrate. Try doing the easy things first, like sending a few e-mails for example, and then, simply move forward and start working on those things a little more complicated. You will see that once you’ll get started, it will be so much easier for you to keep going and not give up until you get all your work done.
If the previous method doesn’t work, you could try working on something else. For example, you could try solving a different problem, something you never have enough time for, something that’s totally unrelated to what you have to do during that day. At least, you will get something done and you won’t be wasting your entire day.
If you have the opportunity to work from other places rather than your office, then just get up and leave. Change the environment. Go to a public library or to a coffee shop. You could even go and sit on a park bench if that will help you focus on your tasks. Just try to avoid new distractions that come with being out of the office.
If nothing else seems to work, you could try bribing yourself. I know this technique works for me every time, so why not try it too? You could make a deal with yourself and reward yourself every time you manage to complete one of your tasks. It doesn’t have to be a big reward, just something you enjoy that will motivate you to finish what you are doing.
Even if you not in the mood of doing anything and you fear that you might not be able to finish all your work in time, try to maintain a positive attitude. Encourage yourself and believe that you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t give up! It’s always a good idea to start your day thinking about all the wonderful things you need to be grateful for, because this will help you feel more relaxed and it will motivate you to work harder in order to achieve all your goals.
The Pomodoro technique is an amazing tool that will help you save any unproductive day. It goes something like this: “You set your alarm for 25 minutes and start working on the thing you need to do. The only rule is that you don’t do anything else in that time. Then you stop, for two or three minutes. Ideally, you then do it again.” You will be surprised to notice how many things you can do during those 25 minutes and I’m sure that small victory will motivate you to keep going.
Rescuing an unproductive day is never easy, but with a bit of effort you’ll manage to get back on track and take care of all your tasks in no time. How do you save an unproductive work day? Do you have any other tips that you could share with us on this matter? Do tell!
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