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Office Life

3 ways to get out of a productivity rut at work

Every day won’t be a slam dunk when it comes to productivity. Here’s what to do when you’ve taken your eyes off the ball, and you feel like you’re drowning in work.

Make sleep a priority

Kristin Wong, a freelance writer and author of Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Afford, writes about this in Lifehacker (the piece is written with the idea that you’re normally able to get things done, but you experienced a “short-term setback.”

Wong’s first tip is to “get an early start.”

“Let’s say you got jack done Monday. Once you realize the day has been a waste, make it a point to get to bed earlier that night, so you can get a head start on Tuesday (getting up early is hard, but lucky for you, we’ve got a whole list of ways to make it happen),” she writes. “When you get up that morning, don’t dive straight into work, though. Indulge in something you love. This starts your morning on an optimistic note, putting you in the right frame of mind for tackling the day. Instead of approaching it with the stress of having to catch up, stay calm and approach it optimistically and methodically.”

Start all over again

Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice and more, told Fortune about how to do this when things aren’t going as planned in terms of everything you have to get done.

“Forget the original plan. … What would success look like now, given my new constraints? Which problems are the most important? What would be the most valuable use of my now reduced time?” he told the site.

You should get comfortable moving forward in a different way.

Feel free to switch gears for a moment

Amanda Zantal-Wiener is a writer for the HubSpot Marketing Blog, strategist, editor and owner of creative consultancy Amanda Zantal-Wiener, LLC. She writes on the HubSpot site about how she was busy when spending time with her parents for Thanksgiving but took the time to help her mom with a laptop issue she was having, and then felt ready to work again.

“If you’re feeling stuck, use your brain for something else. Maybe there’s a colleague who you’ve been meaning to get back to on an unrelated project, or maybe you just need to do a quick online puzzle. Keeping your mind active while giving it a break from the dredge of your to-do list might leave you feeling re-energized and ready to hit the ground running, wherever you left off,” she writes.

Don’t be afraid to do this.

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