We all have bad days. The only problem is that work still needs to get done on those bad days. It can be hard to kick yourself into an overdrive gear to keep working, yet those who are consistently productive are able to defeat their bad days all of the time. How do they stay productive when they’d rather be doing something else? Here are their 7 secrets that you can also try.
#1. Plan Ahead
You’ve got to do more than just turn off your distractions. Don’t just close your Facebook page or turn off your phone. Tell people you’ll be out of contact for awhile. Give them an expected time frame for when you’ll be available once again. If there’s an emergency, set up an alternative contact. That way you won’t have to worry about what is happening when you’re working on something important.
#2. Set Real Deadlines
“If I get this done in the next 3 days, then I’ll be fine.” We all work to the expectations that we set for ourselves. If we allow ourselves 3 days to get something done, then we’ll take all 3 days to get it done. Set a firm deadline instead of a fuzzy deadline to stay productive. Even if work isn’t due for awhile, setting a deadline that is sooner rather than later can let you start working ahead.
#3. Change the Routine
At 4am, the world is very peaceful. Hardly anyone is awake. The late-night parties have wrapped up and the early risers are still an hour or two away from having their alarms wake them up. This is the perfect time to get to work. Once you get used to an earlier start to the day, you will be amazed at how exceptionally productive you can be.
#4. Give Yourself Incentives
Rewards will help you muster up some additional enthusiasm during a bad day. If you put in 4 hard hours of work, then take a lunch at your favorite restaurant. Buy a bottle of your favorite wine after work. Download some new music. Just don’t reward yourself before you get the work done because then you won’t want to be productive.
Bad days drain your battery like nothing else. It’s important that you consistently recharge those batteries with healthy options. Avoid high caloric content foods. Sit when you feel tired. Get active if your mind feels dull.
#6. Take a Break
This doesn’t mean you stop working to hop onto Facebook or send out some tweets. Take a real break from the rest of the world. Go for a 10 minute walk. Shut the office door and close your eyes. Being inactive mentally for awhile can really transform a bad day.
#7. Staple Your Legs To the Seat
Push through the pain of a bad day and get the job done. Don’t leave until it gets done because that just makes a bad day seem even worse. Sure – you might be working longer than normal, but the reward is that you won’t be reminded of your bad day tomorrow.
Staying productive during a bad day is a chore. It takes a lot of work. If you can implement these habits, then you will join the ranks of people who are consistently productive every day and you won’t believe how much you can get accomplished on even your worst days at work.