If you are reading this, you are probably also in the space that I often get into, at least once a week. The feeling of not being productive can seem like you are a lazy person, but it is something that everyone experience now and then. Unproductivity can happen due to various reasons, but the main reason is the inability to move forward once the end goal is available. One of them is taking up many tasks. As a content creator, I want to fill up the schedule with things that I need to complete to ensure my blog and social media stays active. This activity becomes a little more wearying when all the tasks have been completed alone, leading to burning out and eventually missing out some chores, which leads to being unproductive.
However, unproductivity can also negatively affect my job because I cannot deliver my work. This can damage my reputation and credibility as a content creator and blogger; hence I have researched and tried a few of the techniques I found; luckily, some worked. I will not acclaim to be good at it as I am still working on it, but I have learned a couple of tricks to help me get out of the not productive mode and get things done.
I have compiled all of the ones that worked for me (and some extras!) that will help you to understand how to work through a not productive stage :
Self-Regulation is the “key”
Learning how to self-regulate is essential to adopt for better emotional maturity and social connections. In lack of better words, self-regulation is a form of emotional intelligence; we learn how to regulate our emotions and the same time to ensure that we take control of it instead of letting our feelings to control us. This is the one crucial aspect required to diminish the feeling of being productive on certain days.
So, how do you get there?
The first mistake that we do is to wait for motivation to come to us and this is where the route to lack of productivity begins so instead of sitting on your couch and waiting for it, you will need to search for it. When you do not have the drive to do anything, you will need to start doing it. I know this might sound a little confusing but what I am trying to say is that when you don’t feel like creating or completing a task, you will need to push yourself to complete it. This is a technique that separates an amateur and a professional. From my personal experience, it isn’t easy initially, but I realized I had created some of the best works during this stage.
Start a practical routine and stick to it.
Having a routine might not seem everyone’s cup of tea, but having one can help during stressful times, especially when you do not feel productive. As a freelancer, I work from home most of the times, and I have experienced times when I drift away from my work because I was lack of a routine like it used to be in the office. Naturally, I’m not too fond of a pattern, but unfortunately, I cannot function without one; it has caused lack of concentration and focuses in the past, hence why I started creating a routine for me to follow every day.
Creating a new routine can be difficult, but sticking to it can be way more complicated. The first step to building a habit is to decide what should be in the routine, prioritize what is essential, and set small goals initially. Big plans can be challenging to tackle; hence you can break it to small goals. For example, if you need to write a blog that has 2000 (two thousand), you can target to complete 400 (four hundred) words per day and set the goal to meet all two thousand in 5 (five) days. This way you can complete it over a few days rather than stressing to achieve it on the same day.
Don’t aim for being busy.
There is a common belief that being busy is equivalent to being productive, but that is not the case. Being busy doesn’t mean you are not working hard, but it is not always efficient or effective. Another problem in wanting to be busy is you always say “Yes” to all the projects that come your way, and that is not advisable.
Choose projects or assignments that you can truly handle. Do not take pride from being busy as chances are the outcome will be nothing at all, but there is a big chance that you can work at minimal hours a day and achieve a lot. This level of productivity will ensure that you can complete your tasks on time, but at the same time, you will be able to provide an up to the mark outcome.
Not being busy is not a bad thing, and that doesn’t make you either lazy or laid back, taking less is more productive. Remember, being hardworking is good but being hardworking and efficient is more effective. It would be best if you were smart in choosing your battles to win it.
Take a break if needed.
The title might seem contradictory to the first point in this blog, but taking a break here refers to micro-breaks between your task. Our brain is powerful, but just like every other organ in our body, it needs rest. Taking regular breaks can boost your performance as it will help you develop organically creative solutions for your problem.
This also helps to lower your stress by allowing decompression. Continuously working can eventually cause your stress level to increase, and when you are stressed, you will not be able to give your best into your work. You can choose to have an excellent hot beverage, read a few pages from your favourite book or even take a little stroll down your block; whichever that works for you.
Read good content.
One of the best ways to bring the productivity bug back into your life is to read good content that helps you understand how it works. A self-help book is one of the resources I go to identify what I am doing wrong and improvise every time. Self-discipline books are great as they have methods that can get you to work on it physically and to follow some of the technique provided, step by step.
This is definitely not rocket science as some of the methods might not work for you hence why you will need to practice some of the theories and find the one that you need. Of course, you will be able to straighten your self discipline by reading them because it takes discipline in the first place to perform this activity. Apart from that, you will also gain the powerful self-discipline mind insights that will assist you into becoming one of your own.
Some of the books that I find helpful is “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, “Mastery” by Robert Greene and “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. You can find self-discipline books on Good Reads and read the reviews to find the one that suits you the best.
There is no sure way to increase your productivity; it is highly personalized, and you choose what works for you like how I know what works for me. Of course, being not productive can be stressful and cause mental drain but no matter how bad the day is, remember always to stay calm and optimistic. Take a deep breath and “Carpe Diem”!