5 Tips To Increase Your Productivity During An Off Day

In an ideal world, we always feel energized, productive, and ready to hit the road. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality. No matter the reason. We all have an off day from time to time, but we still want to feel productive.

And it’s not only that you want to, sometimes you just have to. Maybe because you have a job with certain responsibilities and deadlines or due to some obligations in your personal life.

So how do you make sure you get things done during these kind of days? Hopefully, the following five tips can help you to increase your productivity during an off day.

5 Tips To Increase Your Productivity During An Off Day

Start with some self-care

On days when you just don’t feel it, self-care is all the more important. By consciously spending some time on yourself, you can sometimes really feel a lot better and turn the day around.

The great thing is, you don’t have to feel like you’re wasting your precious time. Self-care doesn’t have to take a long time. There are plenty of self-care activities of 30 minutes or less.

Start your day with a (short) walk in the fresh air, make a healthy breakfast, or do some stretching exercises. But also during the day, it’s important to take some small breaks.

Related article: The Power of Self-Care: Prioritize Your Well-Being

Choose tasks that energize you

When you are having an off day, nothing works better for your productivity than to do the things you enjoy doing the most.

Of course, every job also includes some activities that you like less or even do not like at all. We almost can’t escape that. But try to avoid doing these things on a day when your mind isn’t in it already.

Check in with yourself to see what kind of tasks usually give you the most energy. But especially what you want to do today. You will feel that you also have the least resistance to this.

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Make your tasks small

When a project or task is very large, it can be quite overwhelming. My number one tip in cases like this is to break it down – and this is also relevant when you are having an off day.

Ask yourself the following question: to complete this project, which (smaller) tasks are included? Write down all these individual tasks one by one. Make sure you break it down as small as possible.

You will see that there are a lot of things that you can probably get done in half an hour, or even less. This also applies to the type of tasks.

In some cases, the overall project can sound energy draining, but a few smaller individual tasks may suit you better at this moment and even energize you.

Breaking down your projects into smaller individual tasks like this, not only makes it less overwhelming by giving you an overview, but it will also help you to improve your productivity during an off day.

Working on the entire project is not feasible for an off day. However, you now have a list of smaller tasks to choose from. Choose the tasks that you feel most excited about today. This way, you won’t have the feeling that you’ve lost a day in the progress of the project.

Example: when you are responsible for the project “launch new digital course”, you can break it down into the following individual tasks:

  • Create landing page
    • Keyword research
    • Write copy
    • Create visuals
    • Test landing page
  • Create social media content
    • Create visuals
    • Write copy
  • Plan social content
  • Write newsletter

Make a list

While keeping the above tips in mind, you can make a to-do list. What do you want to do today? In this way, you take everything out of your head and put it on paper. This creates head space and overview.

Keep the to-do list realistic! There is nothing more frustrating on a bad day than also feeling like you are constantly behind the times. Don’t make the list too long and try to choose a maximum of 2-3 priorities that are actually achievable.

You can possibly write a few more “nice to do’s” at the bottom but also mention it like that. Doing this will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. And it’s even more satisfying when you’ve finished your priorities and can now get started with these “nice to do” tasks.

In addition to the fact that making a list provides an overview, it has another big advantage. Every time you check off a (small) task, a little dopamine is released.

Dopamine is also called the happiness hormone and for a reason. It increases your satisfaction and happiness. Due to this feeling, you will be motivated to continue what you are doing. After all, every time you complete a task, you get a new dopamine boost.

End your day strong

Ultimately, make sure you end your day strong. Even though you may have started your day less well, it is possible to end it on a positive note.

You can do this with a task that you enjoy doing the most or a task that gives you the most satisfaction. Choose something that excites you.

This does not necessarily have to be work-related. It can also be something that just gives you a lot of energy as a person. For some people this can be going out for a run, and for others it might be cooking a meal.

Bonus tip: Just let it be

It often feels like we always have to be productive. But believe me, that’s not the case. It’s not even realistic.

Anything can happen in your life that will make you have a bad day. And sometimes it’s just there out of the blue – thanks to our hormones.

On these days you can still try everything to be productive, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. And yes that sucks for a while, but it’s okay to have an off day.

Try to accept and embrace it by spending some time on self-care activities on this day. In this way, you are still doing something that might help you feel better.

To wrap it up

Although it can’t always be your best day, there are definitely ways to improve your productivity during an off day. Pay attention to your self-care, and choose activities that give you the most satisfaction.

And is it really not your day? Don’t feel guilty. It’s normal not to be productive or feel your best all the time. Tomorrow is a new day!

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20 responses to “5 Tips To Increase Your Productivity During An Off Day”
  1. Reading this on a Saturday – the perfect way to get inspired! 🙂

  2. Tracy McHugh

    I love the point about making the tasks small. I find many times I get overwhelmed when it’s a big/time consuming task.

  3. Avishek

    Self-care is an important aspect that everyone should keep in mind. Not only does it improves productivity but it gives you the attitude to move forward positively.

  4. Great advice here. Definitely a list maker myself.

  5. Hi, what a fantastic professional blog! I loved the tips in here especially self care! Super important

  6. Sometimes we must let it be and permit ourselves to have an off day. It’s important to remember that productivity isn’t everything and that taking care of ourselves should always come first. Self-care activities can be a great way to boost our mood and help us feel better, even on our worst days. And if all else fails, there’s always tomorrow to try again. Thanks for sharing this important reminder!

  7. Excellent tips for keeping your day productive. I know making a list is key to getting things done for me. I also love the idea of knocking out tasks that energize you first. I also find I’m extremely productive after I take a day off – it’s all about balance.

  8. I really needed this post today! Thank you.

  9. I used to overlook the value of doing the small until I saw how much I got done. Now I am a true believer in making lists and doing small tasks in order to be more productive.

  10. This topic really resonates with me. I think the biggest key is breaking down large tasks into smaller chunks which is a big psychological boost.

    1. Yes, I am a huge fan of breaking projects/tasks down into smaller tasks. Always when I feel stuck, I go back to doing this and it always helps me!

  11. This was such a great post! I love the tip to just let it be! When we let things be as they are, we can achieve inner peace and happiness!

  12. Great timing as I’m having an off WEEK. Good tips. Thank you.

    1. Weeks like this are tough… Hang in there! The new weekend is already closer than the previous one 😉

  13. These are great tips! I love the idea of starting with self care and doing small tasks you enjoy. Thank you for sharing!

  14. I like the idea of starting with self care. And as always, making a list is a good start. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I needed this. My mom just went into hospice care, so…. I’m having a few off days. Thank you!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that you and your family are going through this… Take care of yourself and don’t feel guilty if you don’t manage to do something useful. That is very normal right now!

  16. Love this! Definitely needed to read this today so thank you for sharing

  17. Merritt

    Thank you for the great post! I have been struggling with this and I am going to try these tips!

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