10 Tips for Turning an Unproductive Day Around

Female Student in Room on Laptop Computer

With midterms right around the corner, you may have started to procrastinate. It can be easy to put your homework and other tasks off until the last minute, but it leaves you feeling unproductive and unsatisfied when the day comes to an end. Don’t lose hope just yet, Bearcats! We’ve got 10 tips to turn those unproductive days around:

Make a To-Do List

One of the best ways to encourage productivity is by making a list of assignments and tasks you have to complete, no matter how big or small they are. It can be helpful to write it out by hand and will give you more satisfaction when you can cross them off one by one. Begin with the easiest tasks to get in your productive groove and you’ll be well on your way to a full, rewarding day!

Get Organized!

Organization is key to productivity, especially within your environment. Make sure that your desired workspace, whether it’s as small as your desk or as big as your entire room, is clean, tidy, and organized so you can work effectively and efficiently on the tasks you need to complete. Having an organized workspace will enable you to return each day and complete your work in an orderly fashion.

Set Goals

We know that you’re familiar with setting goals, but S.M.A.R.T. goals are essential and can turn an unproductive day right around. S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. Following these guidelines for goal setting will set you up for success. To get started, click here for a how-to guide and reroute your day down the path of productivity.

Change Up Your Scenery

Sitting in the same place day after day can be boring and steer you away from completing what you need to. That’s why it’s important to change up your scenery now and then to keep your productivity level fresh, active, and revitalized. On campus, there are designated learning spaces designed just for you. Check out the Hub, the ALC, and of course, Holman Library for some peace and quiet with no distractions.


Join a Club or Team

If you find yourself feeling unproductive with no tasks to complete, join a club or one of the many sports teams McKendree offers. No matter your interests, we’ve got you covered from reading with the Literary Interest Society to creating works of art with the Art Club. The opportunities are truly endless and will give you a satisfying feeling of productiveness and a sense of being a part of something greater.


Participate in an Activity


A great way to turn your unproductive day around while connecting with other students is by participating in one of the many activities on and around campus. McKendree’s Campus Activities Board diligently works to provide students and the community with an array of activities to join in on. Joining or attending one of their events may just be exactly what you need to get on a productive streak.

Take a Break

When your day feels unproductive, it can fill you with frustration. Hit the reset button and go for a walk, do a hobby, or even finish some chores. Stepping away from your workspace and getting out of your current environment will allow you to reset mentally and physically. When you return, you’ll have a clear mind and be ready to focus on your tasks.

Grab a Snack

There may be times where it feels like you have so much to do and you try to cram it all into one sitting with no time to waste on breaks, especially snack breaks. Snack breaks are so important to take to refuel your body and mind. Stop by Ames Dining Hall for a quick meal or 1828 Café for fast snacks and a refreshing drink.

Stay Positive

You may hear this a lot but it’s true--a positive attitude can get you a long way. Having a positive outlook and reminding yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to will in itself spin your day right around.

Plan Ahead

With a new, refreshed attitude, you can plan ahead for tomorrow and make it a brighter day, Bearcats! Laying out your week and tasks to do each day will satisfy and meet your needs to feel that productive sensation. Be careful not to pile too much work on. It can get overwhelming. Space out your schedule and tackle one day at a time. Schedules not only keep you on track to stay efficient but can ultimately serve as a guide to have an overall productive week.

No matter how unproductive your day may feel, we hope these tips will help you turn your day around!