5 Productive Hacks for When You Feel Less Than Great

As a working student, I know the madness that ensues every day when I need to be out of my apartment — and off to class or work. While all my days have the same amount of hours (technically speak),  I often have those days where I know I’ve just killed it, and I know I’ve had a productive day. Other days, I feel quite literally like I’m walking through quicksand to get anything done — sound familiar?

The reasons for the lag are different for all of us. Perhaps, you had a long night or are preparing for a long weekend. Whatever the reason, you cannot seem to find the will to drag yourself up through the day.  This kind of attitude might work on a day spent out of the office, but if it hits on a workday, you might struggle to put on a smile and approach your schedule like a boss.  Fear not though friends, you can be productive when you set your mind to it.  For me, that listless feeling (which usually falls around the 2:00 PM), post lunch hour can easily be overcome by taking a break and leaning into the work.

So, take a sip of your caffeine of choice and scroll through our list of genius productivity hacks that will help you power through those slow and sleepy work days. 


One of the best ways to wake yourself up is to get moving, so the second you feel drained at your desk, pull yourself out of the room. Take a walk down the hall, around the whole building or, if you can, down around the block. A change in scenery might be all you need. Either way, the movement should boost your energy enough for the next hour.


A quick chat might be enough of a distraction to clear your head from all the chaos going on at your desk. Plus, this break might be more productive than you think. By introducing yourself to someone new, you’ll have the added bonus of making a new friend or professional connection. Two birds, one stone.


Maybe it’s time to build a new workout playlist. The loud jams will keep you awake and the 15 seconds it takes to add a new song will give your brain just enough of a break to power through your workload. The music won’t just help you get through the day; it will help you dominate it.


Munching every second won’t necessarily be your best bet, but having a few goodies in your back pocket might give you something to look forward to. Plus, healthy treats will keep you energized as you work. You might be tired, but don’t let hunger hurt you too.


This is the time to treat yourself! Finish an assignment by 2 p.m. and reward yourself with a facial at your favorite spa. Finish earlier? Buy the concert tickets you’ve been sitting on all week. Make it a game and play it to win. By the time you slow down and check the clock, you’ll realize the day is almost over.

Have you used the tried any of these tactics to get yourself back on track? Share your comments with us below!

Need inspiration?  Head to our shop pages to check out 50 chic desk accessories for increasing productivity.