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Lately, I have been being highly unproductive, almost 70% less. What are some of the things you guys do to get back on track?

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closed as too broad by AsheeshR, Raystafarian, THelper, Rory Alsop Mar 21 at 10:31

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Do you know why you are less productive than usual? Motivation? Distraction? –  Jeanne Boyarsky Aug 26 '12 at 23:31
    
I'm more tired than usual and slightly more distracted. –  gekkostate Aug 27 '12 at 1:02
1  
If you are tired, sleep will have the best effect here. Work on this first. –  Rory Alsop Aug 27 '12 at 10:02

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I'm unproductive when:

  1. I'm bored. So I work on something I'm excited about to get me going.
  2. I don't see the value in the work I'm doing. So I sit back and dig into my tasks and attach value to them. Why am I doing what I'm doing?
  3. I don't have a clear understanding of what I'm supposed to be doing. So I go somewhere I can think. I think clearly when I'm driving; some people may like to sit at a coffee shop or at a lake.
  4. I have too much to do and want to ball up in my bed with the covers over my head. So I do that sometimes. Then when I feel it's safe to come out, I dump everything in my head on a piece of paper and organize everything I need to do.
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So things I have on my list of things to do when I'm 'blocked' are:

  • Going for a run. Going for a walk while talking to a recorder.
  • Watching a bit of either randy pausch or ted or hoarders
  • Choosing a random task(using Random.org) for just five minutes work....
  • Picking up laptop and going to a different place, the libary, outside, anything.
  • Standing up and using the laptop as a standing desk (very good for a certain type of task...)

EDIT - to add to this - simply having a 'list of things to do when I'm 'blocked'' is pretty useful, as well as having enough awareness to recognise it when it happens....

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1. Do something small.

Start building momentum by doing small things. It will help you get back into productivity.

2. Remove what makes you unproductive

Are you watching too much TV? Are you playing video games too much?

Whatever it is, take it away temporarily.

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Take away the free time. I always think that more free time means I will have more time to work. It is the opposite. The less free time I have, the more I will value it as potential work time, and the more I will get done.

Right now I have a very easy schedule with LOTS of free time, and it is incredibly difficult to get motivated to do work, since I have such an abundance of time.

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Why you are unproductive is critical to solving what to do about it.

If you are productive at work and unproductive at home, very likely you are resisting something. It could be a relationship that needs work or you could hate doing housework or it could be that your body just wants a chance to recharge first and you are expecting too much productivity. Figure out the cause here and the solution becomes more obvious. Realtionship issues are often at the heart of things like this becasue people can be very passive aggressive.

If you are unproductive at work and not at home, you likely have a work issue. You amy be in the wrong career or you may be in the wrong company or you may feel overwhelmed or not challenged enough. Each of those has a different solution.

If you are unproductive everywhere I would suspect a physical issue such as lack of sleep or illness (espcially depression, but many other illnesses also have fatigue as a symptom) or unrelenting stress (such as being a caregiver or living with an alcoholic). If this doesn't resolve with more sleep or you have any other physical symptoms which might lead you to suspect illness, get to a doctor. If you suspect depression or stress consider getting psychotherapy.

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