5 ways to turn an unproductive day into a success

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We all have those days where we are completely overwhelmed by our to-do lists to the point of paralysis and inaction. We get to the office and after 5 coffees and staring at the same email for 30 minutes we still haven’t accomplished a single productive task.

How can we escape this vicious cycle?

If we give up and waste an entire day in the office not only will that have a negative effect on our work quality, but also on our mood. And the next day our list of to-do’s will be even longer and more intimidating.

But don’t worry! To save the day we have 5 tips to turn a seemingly unproductive situation into a successful fulfilling workday!

The 5 magic steps that will save your day:

Let’s clean up this mess! We arrive at the office and we sit down to a desk that’s cluttered with pens and paper, Friday’s dirty coffee cup, crumbs from last week’s lunch… in short, not a very inspiring situation. On the other hand, a clean desk will improve our mood and help us to find what we are looking for when we need it. No more frantic searches for pens while we’re on the phone! Additionally, accomplishing this small task will help get on the right track and make it easier to carry out the other pending tasks for the day.

Do the easy things first. The simpler tasks will make us happy because we can take care of them quickly and efficiently. A pending phone call, a quick report or an overdue email response will take some of the drama out of the start of the day. After this, we will stop viewing the longer tasks as an intimidating mountain to climb and more as the next natural step in a pleasant stroll through the world of productivity.

Pick a strategic task. The long list of to-do’s from two days ago is already out-dated since we kept adding things that we also haven’t been able to finish? Better to forget that old to-do list and think about what task is strategically the most important for our main goals. Focus on that task, and only that task. Try to get started and make progress immediately. Stop bouncing around from task to task leaving everything undone. Tell your coworkers what you are working on to help keep you accountable for results and share what you are doing on your enterprise social network. Complete focus and we will finally make some real progress.

Change your surroundings. After 365 days a year staring at the same wall or cubicle it stands to reason that we might need a change. Leaving the office with our laptop and working from a café or park can inspire us. But let’s not forget what the main objective of this change is: we didn’t leave the office just for a cappuccino or to feed the doves, the goal is to finish that pesky task that has been on our to-do list for the last two months.

Be positive. Start the day with a good breakfast, some relaxing music and a good conversation with family or coworkers. Happiness helps make us productive: don’t forget to dedicate some time for pleasure during the day, a healthy delicious snack or listening to our favourite song. This will help relieve stress and will prepare us much better to have a 100% productive day.

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