How to make the best of Unproductive Days?

Abhishek Rathan Athreya
3 min readApr 14, 2018

After a (major) slump of a two weeks, I’m back to doing what I love — writing on Medium. The past few days were unproductive beyond measure, but I did stumble upon a some benefits.

Productivity is paramount, no doubt. But a few unproductive days are unavoidable. Instead of sulking at the loss of a productive day, relish the benefits that unproductive day has to provide —


Photo by Erik-Jan Leusink on Unsplash

An unproductive day is an unplanned vacation from your daily rituals. You don’t have to get up early, you don’t have to write a Medium post, you don’t have to eat healthy. Consider it a temporary independence from your routine.

Just like a vacation the unproductive day gives you a chance to reset your mind, body and soul. This reset will surely fill you up with more energy for the productive days to come.

During my off-beat unproductive week, I couldn’t write as much as I wanted to. Instead, I had the time to evaluate my writing and come up with new topics to write about! A useful reset indeed.


Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

On an unproductive day, your focus isn’t being utilized on important tasks, hence it’s the perfect opportunity to focus on reevaluating what is important to you.

There will be some tasks that you will miss from the bottom of your soul. You will desperately try to squeeze in a minute or two to do such a task. These are the tasks that you are wired to do. Hold on to these tasks.

There will be other tasks that you are glad to miss. These are the tasks that you are doing out of peer pressure, greed or a desire to look cool. Are such tasks necessary in your life?

I don’t think so.

During my unproductive stint, I couldn’t convince myself to give up writing. In fact, I squeezed in small Medium posts on two days. On the contrary, I was glad to miss the Coursera courses that I had planned to do. These unproductive days, made me revaluate —

  • The importance of the things I missed.
  • The relevance of the things I was glad I missed.


Photo by on Unsplash

The unproductive day allows us to reevaluate the tasks that we usually do. Once we know the true worth of each task, we can use the unproductive time to reprioritize.

The things you value the most (despite how uncool they seem) should be prioritized first. Do them during times of high energy, because you can’t afford to miss them.

After my unproductive slump, I decided to prioritize my writing. I have vowed to write posts as soon as I return home from work (high on creative energy!) I am yet to discover the relevance of my Coursera courses, hence I’ve decided to put them on hold.

In Summary

Like it or not, you will have unproductive days. Instead of sulking over all that wasted time, use your unproductive day to your advantage, do the following —

  • Reset your mind, body and soul.
  • Reevaluate the importance/relevance of your productive work.
  • Reprioritize your work based on your reevaluation.

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Abhishek Rathan Athreya

Self-Improvement blogger. Motivational speaker. Technology Enthusiast.