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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What To Do During Unproductive Times

 by simonarich


Read here if you are usually productive but at the moment are experiencing unproductive times

Everyone experiences unproductive days, no matter how productive you consider yourself to be. This happens because of the natural cycles in our bodies and minds. If you would be productive 24/7, you would very soon break down, therefore unproductive days are necessary for us to get our balance back.

Unproductive days are very beneficial to your mind and body because they refresh and restore you. During such days you should avoid any kind of stress and seek maximum relaxation. This way you will use your unproductive days to your advantage rather than getting worried about why you experience such times.

The best way to use your unproductive days is to totally relax one or two days and then engage in something you really enjoy. Going on holidays, painting, sunbathing or improving yourself in any way are perfect activities when you don't feel like working.

The great news is, if you use your unproductive days as I described, you will be totally refreshed and full of energy when these unproductive days are over. This will enable you to be more productive than you ever were when you eventually start taking more action.

The unproductive days used beneficially will recharge you, give you excessive energy and they might even give you a new outlook on your current tasks/problems. Because of that you will be able to more creatively deal with your tasks and tackle problems in a more effective way.

Read here if productivity is not your strongest trait

If you tend to be unproductive most of the times, it means some mental block or external influence is blocking you from productivity. It's important to identify such blocks so that you would be able to eliminate them.

Here are some reasons for your lack of productivity:

Lack of focus - when you don't have any goal to work for, you will end up doing many things at the same time and failing at most of them. This will create misery, self-doubt and eventually lack of productivity. It's essential to have a goal to work and live for, otherwise you will have many ups and downs without any visible improvement in your circumstances.

Lack of clarity - it's not enough to have a goal. Your goal, in order to be effective, needs to be very clear. For example, wanting to be wealthy won't get you anywhere because such goal is too abstract. The more specific your goal is, the more it will motivate you to take action, and so your productivity will continue to increase.

Goals that aren't what you really want - many people tend to make this fatal mistake of choosing their goals with minds rather than hearts. Yes, a latest sports car might look quite tempting, but is it what you really want in your heart? If you fail to choose a goal that's a genuine one, it will be a struggle to achieve it. You know that your goal is genuine when you get emotional when thinking about it.

Unhealthy food - although very easy to miss, the type of food you eat affects your motivation and productivity. If you tend to eat unhealthy foods full of sugar and carbs, don't be surprised if you feel like taking a nap rather than working on a project. Unhealthy foods greatly affect your mood too. If you eat a lot of sugar-based foods, for example, you might notice that it causes a sudden rise in positive emotions with a long slump of energy and a rise in negative emotions.

Best foods for increased productivity are fruit and vegetables, preferably uncooked. Fish and nuts are great too.

Too much food - if you tend to eat large food portions it's very likely that you eat more than it's good for you. Too large portions of food cause your digestion system to use most of your body's energy to digest the food, therefore there's not much energy left for anything else. Naturally your productivity levels will go down at such times. So it's much better to eat food in small portions and only when you are moderately hungry.

Too little exercise - people who exercise regularly are happier and more productive than those who don't. So it's worth getting into a habit of exercising for at least 10 or 15 minutes 5 days a week or so. This will make you stronger physically and mentally and you will find it easier to accomplish tasks you now consider quite hard.

Self doubt - self doubt can hugely reduce your productivity levels. If you don't believe you can achieve your goals, for example, you will see no point in taking action. Therefore coaching the negative inner voice should be on the top of your to-do list. When you work on your voice by repeatedly telling opposite messages to what it tells you, you will be able to turn it from the failure coach to the success coach.

Chaos in your mind - people who don't meditate, easily accept all kinds of opinions and generally are not aware of the content in their minds suffer from mental chaos. This chaos prevents them from becoming productive simply because there's too much going on in their minds. To eliminate this chaos you should shut out as many external influences from your life as possible, start meditating and thinking for yourself as well as be present to get out of your mind and improve your focus. These activities will naturally eliminate many unnecessary thoughts you currently get and this will automatically increase your productivity.

Chaos/distractions in your environment - if you live in an environment full of distractions, no wonder you are not productive. It's very hard to focus on a single task when many other things/tasks beg for your attention. Every single thing in your environment takes some of your psychic energy as well as your attention, even if you don't realise that. So it's wise to eliminate as many unnecessary things as possible from your work environment.

Negative attitude - negative people are unproductive because they are pessimistic about the final outcome of whatever they do. Because of that they do everything half-way and as a result achieve average or no success. If this is the case with you, you need to start looking for a positive aspect of any situation you find yourself in. Firstly it will be very hard as you will tend to look for negative aspects of the situation, but with time you will get used to this positive outlook. Your productivity will increase because you will then positively think about the final outcome of whatever you do.

External influences - if you tend to seek for others' approval and the opinions of other people matter to you, that might make you less productive. This might happen because most people are discouraging in nature, and so if you take them seriously, you will not believe in yourself and your productivity will fall as a result. The best thing to do in such situation is to care only for your own opinion and respect the opinion of others, but only take it to heart if it's helpful and positive.

I hope that this article will help you to deal with unproductive times better than you were able in the past. If you are mostly unproductive, I hope that this article inspired you to change your current habits, actions and/or mindset for more fulfilling results.

Simona Rich helps people who feel stuck in life to overcome their mental and emotional blocks and keep them focused on their goals until they are achieved. Read more about Simona Rich at


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