Dec 12, 2017

How to rescue an unproductive day

Paige and John playing foosball

With the holidays just around the corner, you’re probably finding it hard to stay focused at work and that you’re having more unproductive days than most. We’re fighting that holiday vacation mode feeling too! Luckily we have crafted seven tips to get away from procrastination nation and get back on track!

 

1. Take a Short Break

I know, you’re asking yourself, “isn’t takin a break a little counter-intuitive?” It may seem that way, but taking a break can actually help to boost your productivity. When you hit a mental roadblock you tend to develop a bad mood which can decrease your productivity by 10 percent. Step away from the task and take a 15-minute break. Whether you listen to music, go for a walk or hop on YouTube to watch a couple funny videos, taking this time to improve your mood is essential for your productivity.

 

2. Productive Mood Anchor

This term is used to explain that “anchor” in your life that makes you feel like you’re in your work routine. For many, it’s simply drinking a coffee or green tea in the morning. Whatever your anchor is, use it to get you back into the right mindset and the productivity flowing again.

 

3. Get something done today

If you leave from work with nothing crossed off your to-do list, chances are you’re going to return to work the next morning with even more anxiety and a longer list to tackle. Even if you don’t have the time to finish everything on your list, being able to cross off just one task will give you a peace of mind and a taste of encouragement to push you through the rest of your unfinished work. Set a 30-minute timer, silence all your notifications and block any distracting sites that you are near. It’s time to hunker down and get at least one productive thing done today.

 

4. Clear the clutter

A desk overflowing with paperwork can cause you to continually interrupt yourself, causing you to procrastinate even more. While de-cluttering your desk may be a daunting task at first or something you hadn’t necessarily planned on doing today, sometimes simply getting up and making minimal progress on a task can spark the brain into productivity mode and get you started on your real to-do list.

 

5. Start small – cross of the easy stuff first

Everyone loves that feeling of crossing something off your to-do list. When glancing at an overwhelming list, I will often write down a few simple things that weren’t even on my original list, just so I can check them off. Even if it’s just a couple of easy tasks that you check off first, you can gain momentum and motivation to tackle your bigger tasks. Seeing a couple of checkmarks can fill your brain with feel-good endorphins which might be just what you need to move forward with the rest of your list.

 

6. Change the scenery

Sometimes to reset your brain you just need a change of scenery. Simply getting out of the office and moving to another setting can help you shift into a more productive mindset. Take a walk and really focus on the fresh air or take your laptop to a coffee shop or a closed meeting room. Wherever you choose to go, make sure you have a clear goal in mind of what you want to accomplish while there.

 

7. Keep a positive mindset

If there is one tip you take away from this entire blog, make sure it is this one – stay positive! Having a negative mindset is the fastest way to ensure an unproductive day. Try to keep a handful of books or CDs around that stimulate your mind with healthy and productive thoughts. Stay away from starting or ending your day by watching the news as it can be filled with negative emotions. Instead, fill your mind with positive thoughts and review your accomplishments which will set you up for a productive day.

 

No one wants to start the new year already behind or have anxiety all throughout the holiday break because of the things they didn’t get done. Using these seven tips, you will be able to push yourself until the holidays so that you can actually relax and enjoy that well-deserved vacation with your family and friends.