• Jess Kennedy

How I Stay Productive When I'm Not Feeling It


I’m a pretty motivated person, and for the most part, I’m doing something productive when I’m not at work or spending time with my friends and family. That said, every once in awhile I’ll have one of those days that just leaves me so down—or so frustrated—that I have a hard time wanting to do anything but veg out or go straight to bed. There’s nothing wrong with a little self-care in moments like this, but for me, inaction under the guise of “self-care” can quickly turn into self-sabotage, and eventually, into self-loathing.


In times like these, I try to do a couple of things: 1.) Give myself some grace to feel my feelings, and 2.) Pick a project that keeps me in action toward my goals, but feels easy.


  1. Watch YouTube videos - We all have times where we’re struggling with something, in business or in life, and you can bet your butt there’s a YouTube video about it. Last time I was in a funk, I searched for videos on “Instagram tips and tricks.” I was learning about an important tool for my business, but it took very little effort on my part.

  2. Hashtag strategy - If you’ve ever spent an evening working on your hashtag strategy, you know it’s a tedious, but necessary, task. It’s also not very complex, and can be turned into an evening of productivity on the couch with your favorite cuddle buddy and the latest season of Queer Eye.

  3. Pinspiration’ - We all know the blackhole of time that is Pinterest. Usually, I’d say it’s not a very productive activity—are you sure you want to pin this garden trellis again?—but when I’m in a real funk, there is nothing more soothing that lying in a hot bubble bath, scrolling through Pinterest. Just make sure you have a mission. Create a board for a topic you’d like to research and only look for related pins. It could be anything from ideas on how to grow your email list, to favorite quotes about productivity. Just make sure you have a path or you’ll get sucked into Dollar Store DIYs for the 4,000th time.

  4. Take an e-course - I can’t tell you how many Udemy courses I own (thanks, .99 cent sale!) but they’ve been a lifesaver when I’m really in a mood. They’re quick, easy, and they don’t often require rigorous note-taking.

  5. Listen to a podcast about business - I loooove my true crime podcasts, but I subscribe to a fair number of business podcasts as well. I have a few go-to episodes that I like to re-play. They remind me of why I started, and get me pumped up for the next stage.

  6. Clean your inbox - Okay, this one isn’t fun. But it’s rewarding, and it’s my favorite thing to do while stuck in an airport terminal or after a long day of work. Just think of how happy you’ll be when you open your computer up to a nice, clean inbox when you finally bounce back!

I hope this gave you some ideas for the next time you’re in a m o o d.


Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Sometimes it’s fine to go to bed when you get home from work at 5:30 p.m. Sometimes vegging out in front of season one of Schitt’s Creek for the 4th full-binge go-around is exactly what you need. And that’s okay.


Just keep an eye on self-sabotage. Make sure you’re not using a bad day as an excuse to stop improving and building what you want. Because it’s hard to keep going, but if you do, the rewards will far outweigh any relief you might feel from putting your dreams on hold.


What are your favorite lazy-not-lazy activities?




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Photo credits: Jenny Lind; Erica Wilkins; Kevin Nguyen   |   ©2020 by J.Kennedy