re: How do you handle unproductive days at work? VIEW POST


I do a couple of things.

  • I carve out an hour or so to work on a coding project I want to work on. I'm trusted to get my assigned tasks done, so if I'm being unproductive with those, working for an hour on something else isn't likely to affect my overall productivity.
  • I exercise over lunch. Getting outside, or to the gym, energizes the body and mind.
  • Sometimes I read something instead of "working" for about an hour. It's usually tangentially related to work, or maybe just a few general articles on programming, but things I've bookmarked along the way and never got around to reading.
  • I write a short technical blog post and share it with the team. Or document a part of our code by writing a nice README. Usually with memes.
  • Sometimes I run errands or do chores, and make up work time later, in the evening. I am fortunate to have this latitude, though. Getting away from the desk and getting those pesky things off the todo list can be motivating.
  • Occasionally the only solution is heavy metal.

In general: do something else that makes you productive. Neal Stephenson wrote: "boredom is a mask that frustration wears". When you're productive you get that jolt of energy that helps you push through whatever motivation killers are in your way.

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