It can happen to even the most productive people. The clock strikes 2pm and you realize you haven’t made any progress on your to-do list. Where did the time go?
There are many reasons for having an unproductive day. Sometimes if feels easier to just throw in the towel and accept the fact that you won’t get anything important done. Before you throw your hands up in defeat, take a look at our list of 6 Ways to Save an Unproductive Day:
- Start Small - Identify a task that you can complete in 15 minutes or less. Checking off one small task will encourage you to start tackling the larger projects on your list.
- Create an “In-The-Zone” Environment - This can vary from person to person. For some it may be as simple as closing your office door and putting up a “do not disturb” sign. For others, it may be listening to white noise or escaping to a coffee shop. According to Jackie Chapman, one of our Productivity Consultations, “For me personally, I have a certain station on Pandora that’s my nose to the grindstone station that keeps me focused and allows me to work through my task list.” The important thing is to identify what works for you.
- Take a Break – Sometimes you just need to clear your head. Get re-energized by spending 15 minutes walking around the block, grabbing a snack, or watching a quick video on YouTube (keyword there is “quick”).
- Set a Timer – It’s easy to forget how much time has passed because you don’t have a visual representation sitting in front of you. With an app like TimeTimer, you can watch watch time pass and move. You can also set alarms to help remind you to keep plugging away.
- Reward Yourself - Sometimes you just need to bribe yourself. Make a list of tasks with deadlines and reward yourself for meeting the deadline (we’ll leave the reward up to you). Take it a step further and get your coworker involved to hold you accountable or celebrate with you!
- Prepare for Tomorrow - Set yourself up for success tomorrow. Identify your tasks for the next day and include realistic time estimates for each one. Think of each task as an appointment with yourself and think twice before canceling your appointment. Don’t forget to include time to read and respond to emails in the morning.
Looking for more tips related to time management? Register to attend our hands-on workshop, Check It Off! Innovative Task Management for your Growing To-Do List.