How to Bounce Back After an Unproductive Morning

I like to get up at 6:15am, hours before I need to be at work.

I like to get up at 6:15am, hours before I need to be at work. I know it’s a little crazy, but it gives me a chance to relax and ease into my morning. Unfortunately sometimes I get a bit bogged down and the morning gets away from me. I’m sure some of you have experienced this too — being on a busy schedule can be taxing. But should we let a productivity setback stop us from being efficient the rest of the day? No!

Here are five ways to bounce back after having an unproductive morning:

Talk it out with somebody: When you are too focused on a problem, you can get stuck in your way of thinking about it. Sometimes you need to just step away from the desk and find someone to talk it out with. You’ll get the benefits of face-to-face interaction with the added bonus of a fresh perspective.

Remove distractions: It’s easy to get caught up answering emails and calls all day. They seem like such pressing issues sometimes. If you find yourself dealing with everyone else’s problems, you might need to shut down. Sometimes I turn off my phone and close my email inbox so I can focus on a single task.

Eat a healthy meal: Sometimes our mind just doesn’t have the nutrition to let those creative juices flow. I always find when I’m having a slow morning, it’s easier to jump back into a project after a bowl of yogurt with granola and fresh berries. It’s light enough — it won’t weigh you down, and it’s full of the things to make your mind sing! Here is a list of some of the most productive foods to add to your grocery list.

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Make it a game: It can be hard to jump back into a project once you realize you’ve been unproductive. I find it seems less daunting if I keep it lighthearted enough to get some work done. So I will play a game where I will time myself to see how quickly I can get through a task. For instance, I will give myself 4 minutes to respond to an email I’ve been avoiding. The added deadline really makes your mind pick up the pace.

Don’t psych yourself out: Try and keep in mind that every single one of us has an unproductive day now and then! If you’re putting too much pressure on yourself to get something, anything, done, then you can psych yourself out. Does it feel insurmountable? You’re just going through a natural cycle, and that you’ll soon get back on track.

Remember that any one day isn’t going to make-or-break you. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Hopefully my little tricks can help you to bounce back from an unproductive morning.

What helps YOU bounce back?

Originally published at on May 3, 2015.

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