What to do when your productivity flatlines


We’ve all been there: it’s 11pm and you’re mid-way through writing that English assignment which is due tomorrow, but words don’t seem to make sense anymore. Or, if you’re more like me, you had three days of peak productivity in Week Two but it’s now halfway through the term and you haven’t opened a textbook since. The worst part about it? That constant nagging feeling that you’re wasting time and being unproductive. However, there is a light at the end of this dreadful tunnel we call the productive flat-line, you just have to find it (and I’m here to help you)!

Picture our productivity as a battery. If you overwork yourself and use it all up, it will eventually crash and remain that way until you recharge it. If you notice you’re running low, here’s how to refresh and come back full power …

1. Just leave it

There is no use sending yourself into overdrive because the work that comes out of that state of mind is never your best anyway. Go do a face mask, walk your dog or make a peppermint tea – anything qualifies as long as it relaxes you and isn’t in front of a screen.

2. Plan

When you’ve had a slight breather, it’s time to draft how you’re going to tackle this task successfully. It takes practice to find a method that works best for you; personally, I like to scribble on an A3 sheet of paper how I will break down my task and allocate different times to complete each chunk. Hint: the more creative you get with this, not only the more fun it is but also the more it will inspire and motivate you.

3. Get a good night’s sleep

It’s well known that there’s no better reset button than a full eight hours of sleep! Go to bed at a reasonable time and wake up the next morning renewed and ready to be your most productive self.

Once you’ve completed these three steps, you’ve recharged your battery and have a plan of attack moving forward that should help you stay clear from the productivity flat-line zone. As goes one of my favourite quotes by Paul Meyer, “productivity is never an accident, it is a result of the commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort”.

Happy working!

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