3 Things to Try When You Don’t Want To Be Productive

Sometimes we don’t feel like doing the “very important” things we need to do. 

And it’s okay when it happens. 

Like when it happened to me. Yesterday. 

The context: I had plans to go to a coffee shop to do some important work. I specifically picked the location because of how close it was. (And I had a free coffee coupon.) 

What happened: I didn’t make it. I was practically there, but unfortunately I arrived to find the Chicago Police Department blocking off the area before I could get closer. 

What I did from there: I went back home. 

Great story. I know. (Minus the police part. Except I still don’t know what they were protecting me from…) 

What happened next: I got home. I settled in. Made some coffee, and got to work. 

…except I didn’t work. 

In fact, I kept procrastinating. I was checking things I didn’t need to check, then getting upset at myself for not being “better and productive.” Which certainly didn’t help. 

While I tend to get a lot done in the mornings, this just wasn’t happening yesterday. Fortunately I eventually got out of my rut, but it took some time – time that I would have rather spent – well….being productive 😉 

Here are a few things I did that can also help you, should you find yourself in this situation: 

  • Forgive yourself. You’re not a terrible person for not wanting to get things done. You’re human and you’re just not feeling it. You can spend time analyzing why, or researching how to be better. Or….you can just forgive yourself and instead accept however it is that you’re feeling. 



Another gem of a mantra card I got from the wonderful Dallas Travers


  • Give yourself permission to “do it wrong.” I was at an awesome workshop last week. We got tips on how to be a more productive entrepreneur. We were specifically told “not to work from our bed”….so guess where I worked from? (Hey. It worked.)  


  • Let it go. I ditched my running order of how the day was going to go. I even removed some things from my list for the day. I picked out the non negotiable and went from there. 

Do any of my entrepreneur friends out there like to switch things up? How has this worked for you in the past? Please share below – we got other readers who would love to hear 🙂 

Have a kick ass rest of your week. 

Let’s go get ‘em.

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Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

-Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

-Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel


Tony Trick: Let Yourself Be Negative

Wake up early. Eat something healthy. Read something inspiring. Prep for positivity.

There’s plenty of options to set yourself up for a positive day. Yet some days you just won’t be happy.

As someone who loves teaching others tricks to be more positive, I don’t hide that I still have my bad days. I share these days  because I know the frustrating trying to learn new behaviors. We badly want to emulate them, yet they seem out of our reach. All the while, it seems the teacher has some “magical power” which we can’t seem to utilize ourselves. So let’s debunk the myth that this has to be hard. Believe it or not, part of this process involves allowing ourselves to be negative.

Don’t get me wrong: This isn’t an excuse to be grumpy all the time. Rather, it’s to emphasize how acknowledging your current feelings can help reach the ones you desire.

For instance, this week  I’m  visiting friends and family in the Boston area. My friends will all tell you I love opportunities to visit home. My mood always improves when I have a trip coming up. Less than a week to go?  Wicked happy. On the train ride to the airport? SO MUCH HAPPINESS.

….except for this trip.

I hopped on the Red Line and was feeling rather tired. When I’m tired, I tend to focus on more negatives: My throat felt scratchy. Am I getting sick? My flight would be getting in late. That won’t help. Will I be too cold this trip? What if my flight will get cancelled? What if I never make it as an actor?

Note: Being sleep deprived is a terrible time to start assuming things.
Clearly I wasn’t feeling very happy. So what did I do about it? I gave in.

I realized I was trying to fight my fatigue. I was wishing and hoping that I would feel more excited. Then I’d get mad at myself for not feeling better. Once I acknowledged how I was feeling, I didn’t have to fight anymore. I wasn’t conjuring up magical feelings that didn’t match how I actually felt.

I switched trains. I got on the Orange Line. Suddenly… I was in a much better mood. I was going home!

…granted, this tends to happen when one departs the Red Line.

I’ll admit this might not work for everyone. We all operate differently. I personally struggle reaching positive emotions by fighting off negatives and pretending they don’t exist. Sure, sometimes you can fake it til you make it. But more often I prefer to check in with myself first. Then I can work on how to best switch my focus – not fight it.


Doesn’t mean you won’t forget to dump your water before going through security though…

Your turn: What do you usually do when you’re struggling to be in a better mood? What tricks do you use to change your focus. I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Before you comment, know this: The concept of “I can’t make myself feel better” is bullshit. You can be happier. You just need to know what works best for you.

Go get ‘em.