is it ok to have unproductive days at work

When you relax the demand on your time, your thinking, and your relationships, youre slowing down, reducing the load, and leaving space for feelings to come up. But as long as I deliver work on time as requested there is no issues. What will I try tomorrow to continue to improve. That's really helpful, thank you. Recently, my father died of lymphoma he could no longer fight.

If this works, I will let you know. Lets look at how to handle unproductive days or unproductive starts to the day. BUT regardless of whether youre physically sick or just downright tired, you deserve a break without the productivity guilt. Just step outside for some air or a walk and come back in 10-20 minutes with renewed focus. Even if you dont have anything major going on, you still can have this thing called productivity guilt, and yes thats a thing! Let your mind wander. probably minutes sure hours few would fun Allow yourself time out of time. If someone has a bit of skive day and doesn't get much done, that's fine - they'll make it up somewhere else. Company I work for is great but suffers from presenteeism. A subscription purchase is the best way to support the creation of these resources. If youre listening, dont judge or solve or offer advice. Those first few weeks, I was also trying to pack my own schedule as tightly as it is normally packed. My instinctive drive to push past it kicks in. As much as my mind wanted me to accomplish all of the things that I set myself out to do, my body wasnt having it. Had I unloaded the dishwasher? For now. Keep it short (20-45 minutes), and make sure you dont drop into deep sleep. But you can sabotage it. It happens. The world has changed; its a lesser place without him. We help people become more productive at work and in life. Who cares? She answered, Its a beautiful drive. And, in every way, it was. @laurenbarri, If you got value from this blog in any way, it would mean the world if you could show your support on my Buy Me a Coffee platform! Im not suggesting mindfulness, focusing on each fold as you fold. If you stop working or pull out your cell phone every time you feel bored or frustrated, you will begin to associate those feelings with the action of pulling out your phone. Health is the big one. Sometimes the switch in a contextual environment is enough to jumpstart our brains into a productive state. I do occasionally get a bit of grief from senior management or HR about "time in the office" (at least I did, before about March of this year). Instead of trying to force myself up before everyone else all in the name of productivity, Im just sleeping an hour later. When you take a break, you reset your focus and get back on track for a productive day. Fun! I wish I had more unproductive days. But in fact, as it turns out, our kids were in meetings too. Or maybe we dont know it when we get out of bed, but we sure know it when, an hour into the day, were having trouble focusing and cant quite find the motivation to get working. Then do that until youre left with only the things that absolutely must be done. Lets look into some of them and how to handle unproductive days. Typically when blocked the best approach is to find a lower priority task and get that completed. But I can also feel myself gingerly loosen my grip on the security of what has been, leaving my hands free, open, reaching for whats to come. Those questions come from a habit of relentless productivity and achievement. Not a thing. It didnt work. Its always the same pattern, and I know that I am not the only one even though we all know that its crucial to take an unproductive day once in a while, when we take it, it is usually followed by a guilt train. If you're a manager, how do you handle this with people you supervise? Then focus on getting only these items done. And if you do want to be with people, try doing it with curiosity and vulnerability, without wasting effort performing. Im a fourth-year law student in Canberra, Australia, working part-time as a copywriter. Instead of not seeing my kids and husband at all during our normal lives, now Im going in to check in and connect a few times a day. For me, that meant no going to the gym, going to work, and doing my usual daily activities of errands. Now in my new job no one ever hassles me as long as I deliver work when requested. When pressed for elaboration, most trainers and fitness professionals like to explain that if your diet is off, or you didnt get enough sleep, or if your motivation levels are a bit down then your workout isnt going to be quite as good as it could be. This is true even to Asian Efficiency team members. Another hack that works for certain people in the money-to-a-friend gambit: give a trusted friend a large-enough amount of money, say $500 or $1,000, on the condition that they only give it back to you when you have completed a specific task. Overcoming unproductive days in the short-term is a matter of using certain hacks and quick-fixes. But I bet you can. I'm glad that people have normalised this 'off day' feeling for me, but I am hopeful that I'll be back to normal tomorrow doing the work that so far, I'm enjoying. The author offers tips for relaxing the demands on our time, thinking, and relationships togive our bodies, minds, and spirits a chance to reorganize and discover who we might become. I cant define what productivity means for you. Edit: I'm probably going to stop replying but thank you to everyone who's commented, it's been really nice for me to know that I'm not alone in this and that I can let go of some of the guilt! wasted Thats OK. Lower the bar for tomorrow. However without 3rd party issues, I would always deliver work on the timescale requested. And when the class ended, I was wiped out. Its my comfort during uncertainty. We feel like we are failing ourselves because we werent spending every moment of the day being productive. Sometimes we just wake up knowing that were not feeling it today. I realistically know I'm not gonna get fired for one bad day but I don't want my colleagues to be disappointed in me. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. But I can assure you it does not. Thank you very much. Set up a meetingeven a phone or Zoom meetingwith a client, customer, mentor, or colleague to talk about something work-related. In a strange way, not progressing may be its own form of productivity. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); I know, most comments said it already, but this article is awesome. Try the Thrive for Chrome extension today! This either happens while I am physically sick or Im just completely burned out. When you fold the laundry, just fold the laundry. Taking a break doesnt mean that youll never be successful. Sometimes these days are planned. Put your phone away or at least on silent and out of sight while you are working and turn off email notifications. The most popular that we recommend are the Pomodoro Techniqueand Solar Flaring. Article after article. If not, well, we were all still alive, and that was really the baseline marker of achievement. And Im at my desk around 9 or 9:15 instead of 8. And you know what?

Lots of tea breaks and quick chats over a tea usually sort it out. Another organizational strategy for your to-do list is to divide it by the degree to which the task requires your best work self. In these difficult times, weve made a number of our coronavirus articles free for all readers. Personally, I only drink English Breakfast Tea when Im really focused on a creative task, so for me, it serves as an anchor for being in a productive flow. Dont get me wrong motivational videos you find on YouTube, especially on personal development are really good and give you a splash of motivation to improve yourself and make the most out of your day to day life. Wear earphones and people will magically leave you alone. Well look at them shortly. Maybe its about hitting work deadlines, but letting everything else go. Getting overwhelmed by email is an unfortunate part of todays work environment. Before this I've only ever worked in call centres where someone will come and ask why you're not on calls.

Not with your discipline or drive, not from a self-directed, strategic, goal-oriented place, but from a place of openness and vulnerability. If there were ever a time to lower the bar, this is it. Staying in good health involves sleeping well (we have a product called Better Sleep about this), it involves exercising appropriately for your lifestyle and physical condition, and it involves learning a bit about nutrition and making better food choices. Worst case, make use of the importance of social interaction to your brain. The first thing to try is a better system for task management, whether it is something simple, or something more industrial-grade like OmniFocus. If our content helps you to contend with coronavirus and other challenges, please consider. For more information on how we use cookies, see our, Alexis Haselberger Coaching and Consulting. I feel the instinct to cling to what I have known and what has kept me safe in the past. Procrastination hacks can definitely help in the short-term. Taking a break is not going to make you lazy. On those days, which, Ill admit, for me, are rare, I tend to just name it. Because at the end of the day, your worth is not going to be determined by your productivity. Being unproductive may just produce the biggest change in ourselves and our outlook on life. Weve found that it is usually something like coffee or green tea. It half worked. May be different for others, Sometimes when youve completed your tasks and have opportunity to be more proactive then its good to do that (and thatll most likely help towards any potential promotions/higher performance ratings), but therell be some off-days/downtime, sure. I try to keep a list of low-stakes, mindless tasks I can do when Im having this kind of day. I hope you can be here, with me, in this space for a little while, as we allow ourselves the time and grace to discover who we are and who we are becoming. I'm on reddit, so guess what kind of day today is on the other hand, I spent an hour this morning doing something really critical and important that is definitely "worth" day of my time. Thats personal too. I am trying to learn to give myself a break on these kinds of days but my brain is screaming at me that I'm useless if I'm unproductive. Each time you open a new tab in Chrome, you'll see inspirational quotes and serene images to help you recharge and reset. This productivity coach is here to liberate you from the feeling of failure when you don't accomplish what you'd planned. I'm working from home just now - there's no-one to look busy for! Here are five that work pretty well: My go-to when I hit a lull is some type of mild exercise. A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup ( That should be a good thing right? 5 strategies for salvaging an unproductive day, Fast Company & Inc 2022 Mansueto Ventures, LLC. And they needed a schedule of their own to tell US when not to bother them. But I also have an opposing impulse, a quieter voice, one that feels deeper, more profound, and even scarier: Stay unproductive.