Aug 12

6 work tips for the tough days

Ever have one of those days where the ideas don’t come? The writing doesn’t flow? Or your pencil goes nowhere? Your brain isn’t quite doing what it’s told? Maybe you’re spending half the day on Twitter rather than actually getting anything done? I have those days. I think we all do sometimes. Here are a few things you can do. You probably won’t like the first one…

1) Be hard on yourself
Thing is, if you let this happen every day, you would get nothing done. Lack of productivity drives me bananas and those hard days really get to me. Being busy is nothing. Actually delivering the goods is what counts. I can be very hard on myself on the unproductive days and, after years of this, I have become convinced that this is a good thing. Because otherwise, it’s just too easy to give in. You have to give productivity a shot and try to push through it.

2) Go easy on yourself
I never said I was consistent. At a certain point, you have to accept that you’re not going to achieve exactly what you wanted today. Look, it happens. Accept it. You can pick it up tomorrow.

3) Procrastinate effectively
On these days, we tend to do everything other than what it is we are supposed to be doing. This can be incredibly useful because often we’ll do things we find unpleasant just to avoid doing our work. So use it. Get those other things done you have been putting off. Do your accounts. Send those emails you forgot to write. Write a blog post (can you guess what type of day I’m having?).

4) Give your brain a rest
Maybe you need a recharge? Not everything comes out fully formed. Sometimes whether writing, planning or designing, you need time to let things simmer. You need to move away from what you’re doing and give your brain a rest while, really, it’s probably working away in the background. Have a rest, go for a walk and you might come back twice as productive tomorrow.

5) Try to avoid a social media cycle
These are the days we can descend into a Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr cycle (insert your social media of choice). If that’s useful because you’re actually doing stuff to boost your profile, fine. Otherwise, you’re going to eat up your day and feel bad about it afterwards because it wasn’t how things were supposed to go.

6) Create something else
If you suspect the day might really be a write-off, maybe go and create in some other form. If you draw, make music. If you write, draw a picture. Express yourself. I believe that is really important for well-being. That’s why you’ll see the odd pixel art doodle hit my Tumblr even when I have a crazy deadline looming. And you don’t even get to hear the odd musical doodles. Creating in other forms is good for us.

So there you go. These days happen to the best of us, it’s not just you. Try to make the most of it in any way possible and, hey, if all else fails, go out for ice-cream.

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