5 Ways to Spark Productivity on Off Days
Some days, you just don’t have it. The drive, the creative streak, the mood to get things done—whatever it is, it’s just not there. It happens for a wide variety of reasons. There’s burnout, for one. You may not have gotten enough sleep. You’re just not in the mood or the right frame of mind. Maybe there are technical issues affecting your ability to work efficiently, like a slow internet connection.
Regardless of the reason, what you need to do is get things going. So how can you overcome this slump? Here are some of our recommended methods to fuel your productivity even on the worst days.
Take a break and go out for a walk
Sometimes, all it takes is a little change of scenery. If you’ve been cooped up indoors for too long, a walk helps in many ways. You might generate some ideas unprompted as you walk along your route. You might be able to plan your next steps while thinking through what it is you want to accomplish. You may even be fortunate to chance upon a sight or scene that gets your creative juices flowing. If nothing else, the exercise will do you good.
Listen to music
When nothing productive is happening, consider putting on your headphones to block the outside world for a while. Fire up your favorite tunes, or listen to your go-to genre. This helps set a mood for the rest of your day and can inspire you to work better. If you’ve never tried it, google a Mozart symphony, and let the music flow over you. It can do wonders in reviving your spirits.
One way to goad your brain into functioning is to do some activities other than the task at hand. This should get the gears moving, a sort of warm-up for the main event. Work on a crossword, answer some brain teasers, or fire up a quick puzzle game on your phone. These are great ways to engage the brain and prepare it for a solid stint of work.
Grab some coffee or a good energy drink
If you haven’t had a cup of coffee yet, the lull in productivity is as good a time as any. Caffeine will definitely help keep you alert. It stimulates the brain and helps nudge our idling neurons. It also staves off feelings of fatigue or tiredness. In case you’re not a fan of coffee, caffeine is also found in significant amounts in tea, and there are some great energy drinks out there to try.
Take a nap
Resting is a critical part of working. You’re more inclined to get something done coming off a bit of rest. It can be tough to summon the will to work when you’re tired. If your schedule allows, get some shuteye. A quick 10 or 20 minute nap should help recharge you and give you a second wind. If you’re not getting anything done, you might as well get some rest. Just make sure you set an alarm!
Waiting for inspiration to come doesn’t take care of deadlines and to-do lists. It’s up to us to make things happen, even on the worst days. Make sure you have a set of go-to plays for whenever you’re stuck in a rut. Don’t hesitate to try some of the methods we’ve shared, or come up with your own ways to be productive. When you find what works best for your workflow, your off days will be few and far between.