Happy Monday to you! (Though, you might argue that “Happy” and “Monday” do not belong in the same sentence together.) I thought we’d start the week with some tips on productivity and what to do when you are just “not feeling it”.
You probably find that there are days when you are like a machine – taking on tasks and churning and burning. And, then there are other days where you are not as productive as you would like. I’m here to tell you: THIS IS OK. Maximize the times that you are productive. When you are in a slump, acknowledge it and work around it.
Here are 5 things that work for me when I’m in an unproductive slump:
- Change your environment
I usually work out of my really pretty studio in Capitol Hill in Seattle. It is a gorgeous space that brings me peace. However, there are days where I am lagging. Taking my laptop to a coffee-shop spices things up and I can focus on things I have to get done. We are very fortunate as small business owners to make our own rules and work where and how we want to work. Take advantage of this!
- Do something else
You may be forcing yourself to do something that doesn’t inspire you at the moment. Change gears and come back to it. I’ve learned to recognize the days and times I’m most productive. As an invitation designer, if I’m not feeling creative I turn my focus to something systematic like inputting my expense receipts or filing papers. If I force myself to be creative at a time when I’m in a slump, I’m just battling myself and not getting anything done.
- Go for a 20-30 minute walk
Last week, in our discussion about Balance, I addressed this tip. If you are feeling blah, chances are you are burned out or tired and need a break. Take a quick walk and while you are on the walk think of 3 things you are going to do when you get back to your workspace. Works like a charm at finding your focus!
- Clean your desk
You can call me “bad post-it girl”. You’ll find my desk covered in post-its and all sorts of other little papers and pens. (It’s no wonder I started a stationery business!) How can I focus on what I have to do when my workspace is so distracting? As bad as I can be about clearing up my desk, I know that after I do it I will feel so new and inspired.
- Make a list
It is so cliché to have this as a tip, but it is sooooo helpful. At times, a lack of productivity is a result of having too much on your plate and feeling overwhelmed. Instead of having all of that work running around in your head, contain it on a piece of paper. Grab your random post-its on your desk, go outside (incorporating tip #1) and make separate lists for separate projects: work, personal, organizations, etc. I also find programs like Remember the Milk to be very helpful – especially if you are “online” kind of list person. You can access this list from your PDA, any time, anywhere.
And there you have it… 5 things to start your week on the right foot! Go forth, be productive, and prosper!