How to be productive when you’re feeling tired

Have you ever wanted to be productive, but felt way too tired to do anything? Then you’re not alone.

Normally, I’m quite a productive person. I get up in the morning, start my workday, and usually don’t randomly end up reading or watching Netflix in the middle of the day. 

But lately, I just wasn’t feeling up to that. I was constantly tired and in need of a break. Even if I had barely started working. 

As you might imagine, this made me feel like I got nothing done anymore.

After struggling with this for a while, I finally found ways to cope. So, if you’re in the same situation, here are my tips on how to be productive when you’re feeling tired!

Listen to your body

If you don’t feel like you can keep on top of your mile-long to-do list (which you shouldn’t have, anyway!), don’t force it. 

Whether you know why you’re tired or need to see a doctor in order to figure it out: sometimes, it’s best to just listen to your body. Taking breaks for self-care is important, and it’s not a waste of time. In the long run, being kind to yourself will prevent you from getting too stressed or even having a burnout.

In my case, I’m used to taking these kinds of breaks when my IBS leaves me drained after a flare-up. They usually consist of me staying in bed longer than usual, starting my work day slowly, and sometimes taking time off altogether.

So, before you worry too much about your productivity, remember to value your health. If you’re particularly tired, listen to your body and relax more than you normally do.

how to be productive when you're feeling tired

Work in bed

If you’re feeling tired but really need to be productive, try working in bed. That is if you’re working from home and actually have a bed available nearby.

While I usually prefer sitting at my desk, I sometimes am just not feeling well enough to get up. In this case, tackling my to-do list from the comfort of my bedroom seems much more manageable.

I actually always do this whenever I’m sick. Because you obviously can’t call in sick as an entrepreneur.

Working in bed is the closest thing to a sick leave I can get when I really, really need to get stuff done but don’t feel up to a normal workday.

Go for a walk in between tasks

If you’re not actually sick and are just struggling with a feeling of exhaustion, going for a walk in between tasks can do wonders. The fresh air helps wake you up, and you’ll probably gain enough energy to tackle another thing on your to-do list.

Of course, you should only do this if you feel up to it. Like I said before, forcing yourself is not a good idea.

how to be productive when you're feeling tired

Shorten your to-do list

I know that you have so many goals you want to accomplish by the end of the year. But if you’re not feeling your best, now might not be the time to tackle all of them at once.

Instead, pick a couple of things you want to work on every day. Keep your to-do list short (no more than 3 priorities per day!) and easy to accomplish. 

Doing this will actually make you feel productive once you finish your 3 tasks.

On the contrary, if you were to have 16 tasks on your to-do list and only finish 9, you’re much more likely to feel like a failure.

So, let’s keep it positive and plan your day accordingly!

Don’t forget to drink water

Being dehydrated can make you feel tired. Did you know that?

I’m not saying that drinking water is some kind of miracle solution to cure fatigue. But it certainly can’t hurt to stay hydrated and avoid getting any more tired.

I find lemon water to be particularly refreshing and a great way to be more alert!

Plus, getting up in between tasks to make lemon water makes for a short, but sweet break that can fuel your productivity.

how to be productive when you're feeling tired

Get enough sleep

This might be a no-brainer, but now is not the right time to run on 4 hours of sleep. Even if you have tons of stuff to do.

I’ve noticed that I’m far more productive when I’m focused, even if I don’t have much time to get things done. At least I’m making the most of this time, instead of dragging my foggy brain from one task to the next.

So, if you are free to do so, set your alarm to a later time. Once you do get to work, you’ll be able to concentrate better. And thus, be more productive!

Alternate between computer work and house work

Obviously, this tip doesn’t apply to you if you have a regular office job. But if you work from home, I really recommend doing this!

Getting up from behind your computer and doing some laundry or cleaning is a great way to be productive. And at the same time, moving around should help you feel a little more awake.

I usually schedule both computer work and chores on my to-do list. This helps me remember that I don’t need to stare on my screen for hours on end. And in turn, these “productive” breaks really help with fatigue.

Now, I’d love to know how you stay productive when you’re feeling tired! Please leave any tips you have in the comments. 🙂

And don’t forget to share this post on social media if you liked it!

Leave a Reply