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As an entrepreneur, your routine activities are often connected to building your business, monitoring business performance and making more money. However, occasionally, you may feel overwhelmed, tired and unmotivated. Generally, one would advise something like visiting the park, getting some fresh air or maybe something that can help your mind settle and make you want to work. However, what happens if those things work? My best advice would have been to use the time to rest. But the issue is that you should feel at peace while resting, without battling productivity guilt.
There is a difference between resting peacefully and resting while thinking of a hundred things you should do. The idea is that your productive mind cannot stand being idle. And that is why I am here to help you with simple yet productive activities you can do during this period. Please note that the orientation here is to help you engage in some simple, productive activities when you are not in the mood for your main business tasks.
1. Listen to a productivity podcast
Listening to useful and impactful podcasts should be something you do on a normal basis as an entrepreneur. But the chances that such things will be on your priority or to-do list are slim. And that is why it comes in handy when you are unmotivated and don’t know what task to work on next. I rarely hop on live webinars because my schedule is often tight, and I won’t want to interrupt my workflow. But I often use these unmotivated periods to listen to productivity podcasts.
2. Read books, articles and magazines
Many hyper-successful entrepreneurs are readers — Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, etc. Even Mark Zuckerberg finds time to read. Perhaps you haven’t been able to create time from your busy schedule to read. A period of low motivation is often the best time to do so. If you are reading this article during your work hours, my only guess is you are stressed out and need to do something less tasking, and at the same time, productive.
3. Tidy up your inbox
Keeping up with the tons of emails you receive daily can be overwhelming. There are newsletters, promotional content, subscription notifications and inquiries from clients. Yet, there are emails you have “starred” to review later. Here is the time to finally give the email a look. And perhaps you have assistants who manage your emails; you may have been giving those ones little attention. There could be essential information your assistant does not consider important to share with you, so this would be a great time to check those out.
4. Call business buddies, friends and family
“Hello Steve, I currently have some free time on my plate, let me know if this is a good time to talk.” A simple check-in like this can help you have a simple, productive day. In addition, through the call, you may be able to pick some business ideas to boost your business growth.
5. Connect with your workers
If there is one thing I hold in high esteem, it is to have a good working relationship with my employees. Your employees are smart people with different ideas and opinions that can help your business grow. Unfortunately, there is a high probability you have not had the time to have an intimate conversation due to the voluminous work you have at hand. However, now that you are not in the working mood, have some short tea chats with one or two of your employees. Perhaps they can give you a fresh idea. And perhaps you do not get a fresh idea; you will at least get to learn more about your employees and get a green tick for being a good boss.
6. Time to tweet
Social media is a good place to blow your business trumpets. You can also connect with fellow entrepreneurs and see people’s opinions under your company tweets, LinkedIn mentions, Facebook posts, etc. Despite how awesome these social apps are, they may never make your priority list. However, considering your productive state, you can use this time to create a Twitter trend, LinkedIn post or other content. Elon Musk is pretty active on Twitter, and I doubt his social media manager created many of those opinion pieces. And I would be shocked if it is on his to-do list.
7. Read your business reviews and surveys
Depending on your business model, some people may have mentioned you or your business on a news blog or a public forum. It could be a review on Trust Pilot, Yelp, Google Maps, Quora or any online community popular in your niche. If you also do a customer survey, employee reviews and similar activities, you may want to consider re-reading them. There is the possibility you might have missed some vital information in your first reading.
8. Learn something simple yet interesting
You may have wanted to learn several things but hardly had the time. Here is the best time to do that. It could be as simple as learning the lyrics to a new song or learning how to use a trending software you have been abandoning for a long time. You can also research things you have been curious about for a long time, but time didn’t permit.
9. Review your company documentation
Unless you are Mike Ross in Suits, I doubt if you know your company bylaw by heart. You probably did not read all of your company partnership deals in detail. During times of low motivation, it may be useful to review these essential documents. You could also review your business audit, even if it dates back to five years ago.
10. Write a blog post
As stated earlier in the introduction of this article, this article itself is born out of a need to do something productive since I am currently less motivated to do my primary business chores. So, if you are the type who enjoys writing, you can use this kind of unmotivated period to do so. You can use this time to write on different subjects that have been springing through your head. And a blog post doesn’t have to be something serious — it can be an article on your business performance or your opinion on the world business ecosystem. It’s up to you.
The next time you’re feeling unmotivated at work, try doing one of these simple yet productive tasks. You will likely find that you have less guilt about stepping away from your main business tasks because you are still engaging in something that is considered productive. The best part is that all of these tasks can still help you (and your business) grow!