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Staying Productive When You’re Feeling Less Than Motivated

productivity tips: how to stay productive when you're feeling blah

If you’re anything like me, there are some days when you feel energetic & on top of the world, and there are some days when you just want to eat cereal and watch tv.


Here are some tips to keep yourself on track & be a little more productive on your less-than-superhuman days:

1. Turn on the lights.

If you’re near a window and the sun is shining, open it up & let it stream in! Light helps your body wake up, so  turn on all of the lights that you can, and if you want, put on some energizing music, too. I love finding new mixes on 8tracks.

2. Use that timer!

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been able to convince myself to work on a dreaded task by promising that I can stop after five or ten minutes. Most of the time, I’m either finished or have made some serious progress by that point.

3. Make it interesting

Okay, this one is a little bit silly, but it really works for me. If I have something that I really dread (filing a pile of papers, sorting through emails, etc.), I’ll try to turn it into a game. I’ll set a goal, like, “process 50 emails,” and then record all of the tally marks like I’m earning a point for every item I file or delete. I have found that I really love seeing all of those little tally marks add up, and I’ll usually end up filing a few extra papers just so that I can get more “points.” If you can find a way to make it more of a game, it really makes a difference! (I also try to race my timer sometimes!)

4.Get up & get out!

If you can grab a breath of fresh air, go take a five minute walk. Otherwise, get your blood flowing with some “productive procrastination,” i.e.,  taking care of some mindless physical chore (wipe down your desk, fold some laundry, etc.)

5. Pick the easy win.

Basically, instead of wasting an hour watching tv or surfing the web, do a task that you can complete easily. Sometimes, all you need is that first win to start checking off the rest of your to-do list!


Bonus Tip:

Getting into a good daily routine can really help you put your productivity on autopilot. The less you have to think before completing a task, the more likely you’ll be to actually get it done!


How do you get things done when you’re feeling less-than-motivated?

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10 comments on “Staying Productive When You’re Feeling Less Than Motivated
  1. Kristin @ Everyday Organizing says:

    I love this list! I totally use my timer to keep me on-task (I am so easily distracted by my computer). I like your tip to “make it interesting” — I love making little games for myself to stay motivated. One other tip that helps me is to do the thing you are dreading the most first. Having something I really don’t want to do looming over my head makes me avoid all my tasks, not matter what they are. By getting that dreaded task out of the way, I am more apt to move onto my other tasks.

  2. Wilted Mama says:

    Thanks! This came at the perfect time!

  3. Serena | Pretty Fluffy says:

    I needed this today! Fabulous tips – especailly the sunshine and the timer.

    BTW – how good is Forgetting Sarah Marshall ? :)

  4. Chelsea says:

    These are great! Thanks for sharing!

  5. anne @ wit wisdom and food says:

    I love the timer idea. I would get so much more done if I can make myself do that. I am excited to try that. Thanks

  6. Casey,

    I find using a timer is helpful too. My husband and I did that this year when we were stacking wood. Either one of us wanted to do it.

    Simply Planned

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