Exhausted person because she's unproductive

Why am I so unproductive? 15 reasons you need to know!

It’s inevitable. At some point in our lives and careers, we’ve experienced a feeling of being stuck and unmotivated. At that moment this question comes up “Why am I so unproductive”?

The world as we know it now emphasizes being super productive, well organized. You are expected to always stay motivated. But, despite our efforts, sometimes it’s too much to handle.

We’re daily pressured to meet incredibly high productivity standards. To be honest, it’s unrealistic for us to be productive and motivated all the time. And that’s ok!

We shouldn’t feel bad about it. There are days when we don’t have that extra energy to push ourselves.

Whenever we feel unproductive, we often tend to attribute that to all the wrong reasons.

Our lack of motivation isn’t always linked to our job, or to our daily life stress. Know that you can love your job, have a chilled day-to-day routine, and still feel this way.

But why do I feel this, you may be asking? Why am I so unproductive sometimes? Get to know 15 reasons that may answer your question.

15 Reasons why you’re feeling unproductive

to-do list - be more productive at work

1. Not creating to-do lists

Organization is key to staying productive. Prepare a to-do list with all the tasks you have for the day. Use time blocking to better manage every second.

2. Lack of tasks prioritization

When you’re unclear about your priorities for the day, you’ll probably end up spending way more time on pointless tasks than necessary. Determine the level of importance of your tasks, and focus on what’s essential in your to-do list.

To prioritize your to-do list you can use the 4 quadrants of time management matrix.

With proper prioritization you can stay focused on what really matters. Focus during the daytime and leave all the unproductive habits behind.

3. Not using time blocking

Probably, you’re not breaking your day into chunks of time, or what we’d call timed slots, to work on tasks or projects.

You may wonder how to do time blocking and why it’s important. The idea is to get more done by focusing on individual tasks rather than trying to work on many things at once.

Divide your days into time slots. You can follow Elon Musk 5 minute rule, and work on each task, according to their priority.


This method is efficient and it’s an incredible tip to stay on top of things.

4. Many interruptions

It’s impossible to not get distracted by all the notifications during the day. With emails, phone calls, and social media, you will get interrupted every minute.

If you don’t have systems to keep all that noise away, you won’t be able to focus on what really matters. The important work just keeps mounting, and that overwhelming feeling gets harder to shake.

To stay focused on your work you will need to avoid distractions. Turning notifications off during the day is the key to productivity.

Set a time to put all notifications silenced and try to be as productive as possible.

5. Multitasking

Are you trying to do more than one thing at a time? Wrong! You’re more productive if you only take one task at a time and not two or three at the same time.

Multitasking only leads us to wasted attention and efficiency. It’s draining our mental resources and slowing us down.

Multitasking most of the time doesn’t allow us to fully commit to each project. So, stay focused, follow your to-do list, and set timelines.

A way to increase your productivity is by improving your time management skills. To help you with that, we prepared the time management free guide for you.

6. Not having a time tracking app

Not having a time tracking app must be one of the most important reasons why you’re feeling unproductive.

Let go of unproductive habits and incorporate new ones into your daily routine!

Time tracking is highly effective and productive for several reasons:

  • allows you to know precisely how much time you’re spending on each task
  • allows you to quantify your distractions
  • helps you to keep and/or increase your focus

To sum up, it gives you a “clear view” of what you’re doing and how much time you’re spending on each task.

This allows you to organize better your day and your to-do list, and have better planning in general. In other words, it’ll transform how you spend your time.

7. Being too emotional over things you can’t control

Try not to spend too much emotional energy on things you can’t control. That will only make you waste your precious time.

To be successful, productive, and efficient, you need to invest time and energy in what really matters and what allows you to reach your goals.

Spending too much energy thinking about gossip, other people’s problems, world crises, and so on, will only make you feel more anxious…

Try recognizing what you can or can’t control. Try not to stress about things that will only make you feel powerless, angry, and weak.

Understanding where you’re wasting your emotional energy. Fixing it will allow you to grow and become more productive.

8. Feeling overwhelmed by the future

We should all dream big, that’s true. It will only make us set goals for ourselves, work more and be more efficient.

However, having a vision of what our future looks like can feel overwhelming. That is because it’s so far from our current reality.

It’s like when we decide to start working out and be healthy. The whole process seems so stressful and hard. Then we procrastinate, worry, and end up not even starting it.

If you take your main goal and break it into smaller daily objectives, it will be a lot easier to accomplish.

For example: instead of starting by going 2 hours to the gym, and eating only healthy foods, try breaking it into smaller and more manageable goals.

For instance, go for a walk and drink more water. It’s already a healthier habit that you can implement, without feeling so anxious.

Break your goals into small, daily wins. Focus on your progress. This will help you stay motivated over the long run.

9. Lack of confidence in yourself

With all the competition nowadays, it’s hard to stay confident professionally.

We all felt at some point in our lives that we weren’t good enough and that our work wasn’t valuable enough.

It takes time to fight against that feeling of failure and not being good enough as a professional.

You can find hacks on how to stop feeling this way and value the work that you do. Start thinking about the best and worst that can happen when you decide to take that job or project.

Think about it and write down the worst things that can happen. Look at what you wrote and you’ll see that the worst-case scenario isn’t so bad, and you can move on from it.

But what if you think about the best thing that can happen? All the skills you’d gain, everything new you could learn, the experience you’d get.

Thinking about things from this perspective will help you make decisions, and see the big picture. With time, it will allow you to build up your confidence and make you more productive.

10. Not “googling” enough

Do you know that tasks that you’re not familiar with and you spend a lot of time doing them?

Have you ever tried to google before diving deep into them? Have you looked on blogs or youtube channels? Most of the things are on the web.

Take advantage of that and be efficient. There are a lot of templates that will save you a lot of time. For example, you can download our time tracking free templates.

11. Not enough sleep

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Nothing will contribute to killing your productivity and motivation more than skimping on your sleep.

Sleeping enough hours is necessary to have a clear mind and be ready to take the day! Sleep will restore you mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Sleep at least 8 hours per day, and try to be consistent with your sleeping schedules.

There are many apps and tools that you can use to help you rest the amount of time your body needs to be the best it can be.

12. Not eating nutritious foods

How many times have you felt sleepy and tired in the afternoon? It’s all about blood sugar.

Eat the right kind of food and get all the nutrients you need. You will be able to keep your energy levels up throughout the day and feel a lot more active and productive.

Not only you’ll become healthier, but you’ll feel a lot better!

13. Not exercising

It’s not always easy, we know that. Being stressed and super pressed for time isn’t always the best recipe for having the energy to exercise. However, the best way to increase your energy is to work out!

With our hectic lives at work, working out isn’t always easy. Still, there’s no need to hit the gym daily.

Try to incorporate more active habits into your daily routines. Spend more time outdoors on long walks, or running.

Trust us, it will help you feel a lot more energized for the week, and it’ll feel amazing.

14. Not giving yourself time for breaks


Once you’ve put in some solid time working, you deserve a break!

Balance is key to everything: don’t pressure yourself too hard and take some time to rest.

Your brain is a muscle, just like any other it needs some rest. Let your mind wander for a bit: go outside, chat with a colleague, listen to some of your favorite music. Do whatever feels good to you.

You’ll come back to your task refreshed and de-stressed. This will allow you to do more creative and productive work.

15. Having a messy and dirty workspace

Having a dirty and messy workspace can easily mess with your productivity. Even though it’s super normal that your work area gets cluttered during the day, try to give it a refresh sometimes.

Make your space your own by also getting it all cozy and friendly. Light up that candle you like, listen to your favorite music, and get yourself cute pen holders. Whatever works for you!

Conclusion

After reading our list, do you have an answer to “why am I so unproductive?”.

These are common reasons that may help explain why you’re feeling unproductive and how you can change that.

Yet don’t judge yourself for feeling unproductive or unmotivated. It’s completely unrealistic to try to be super productive, active, and better all the time.

Take care of yourself! It’s ultra-important to always remember that your worth is not measured by your output.

Your main goal should be to be as happy as possible knowing you’re doing the best you can.

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