What to do when you're getting nothing done

staring into space Flickr user earthgiant100

(MoneyWatch) Some days are great. Other days? Not so much. You don't have much energy, and even if you do you just can't bear to do some task you think you should be doing. If the day seems to be going nowhere, what should you do?

If possible, go home. But maybe you can't, or maybe you have a home office and you're already there. What else can you do to salvage the time?

1. Take a nap. If the problem is that you have no energy, this alone might save the rest of the day.

2. Go for a walk (or to the gym if you can). If you're not getting any work done, you may as well cross exercise off your to-do list.

3. Clean your office. This is classic "structured procrastination." Just like college students only clean their dorm rooms when they have term papers due, you, too, can do something seemingly productive to avoid other things you want to do less.

4. Reach out. Make a list of people you haven't been in touch with in a while. Start emailing them. That way, when you keep compulsively checking your inbox, there might at least be a response from someone you want to hear from in there.

5. Daydream. Make a list of things you'd like to try this year. Finally getting your act together to sign up for the cooking class you've wanted to take would make for a very productive day.

6. Make social plans. Happy hour with friends will soon erase the memory of a frustrating afternoon.

7. Practice. Your job involves certain skills. What kind of drills could you devise to get better at those skills?

8. Tackle something small. I'm avoiding writing an article right now, but at least I decided to go through and choose some quotes I wanted to use. It's not writing the article, but it's a step in the right direction. I hope.

What do you do when you're getting nothing done?

Photo courtesy of Flickr user earthgiant100

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