Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Dealing With an Unproductive Week

We hit unproductive patches sometimes. Those patches can last an hour or two. Sometimes a day or two. Even as long as a week.

I had one of those unproductive weeks recently. A variety of factors made it unproductive, ranging from lack of sleep to a lack of focus on (and engagement with) what I was doing to several obstacles being dropped in my path. I didn’t do as much as I had planned, either at the office or at home. In fact, I pretty much wrote that week off.

I won’t say the situation was depressing, but it was frustrating. And I wound up being a bit disappointed by my lack of progress on a number of fronts. Having said that, I didn’t let those negative feelings dog me or taint my view.

If you ever find yourself trapped in an unproductive week, you need to understand that much of the time you’re caught up in circumstances beyond your control. Trying to fight against those circumstances is often a waste of your time and mental energy. Instead, ride the wave no matter how rough it is.

Then, try to figure out what went wrong. What, if any, were the obstacles that you faced? Were any physical ailments affecting you? Did technology hinder rather than help?

Don’t spend too much time trying to figure out what went wrong. Analyze, don’t agonize. Focus on the core problem or obstacle that derailed you. Then, quickly come up with a way around it. Again, don’t think too deeply about that problem or obstacle. Avoid the contingency mindset. That will only slow you down.

Finally, reset. Shuffle your to do list. Break larger tasks into small, more manageable ones. Drop some tasks from your task list. Swallow your pride and ask someone to pitch in to help you get things done.

An unproductive week (or day or few hours) can slow you down. It’s not the end of the world.

Thoughts? Let's start a conversation on Twitter.

Did you enjoy this post or find it useful? Then please consider supporting this blog with a micropayment via PayPal. Thanks!