8 SIMPLE WAYS TO BREAK OUT OF YOUR PRODUCTIVITY FUNK

Feeling uninspired to do what you love? Here’s how you can break out of the funk, and get moving again.


BY: AMANDA BOYER, MS, RDN, CD, CPT

Life inevitably has its ups and downs. There are moments when you feel on top of the world, and everything feels like an exciting and fun adventure. You feel focused on your passion and just going for it all wholeheartedly.

But then there are times when it gets stressful. Life starts to feel chaotic and random, and if you’re a recovering type A, your perfectionistic mind wants to completely shut down.

And that’s when the funk becomes real.

If you are unfamiliar with the funk, it can include any or all of the following:

  • Frequent imposter syndrome and self-doubt
  • Questioning everything 
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of imminent doom (but can’t put your finger on what it is)
  • Your inner teenager screaming that the world is out to get you 
  • All the stress
  • Things constantly seem to not go your way
  • Feeling completely worn out no matter what (likely from experiencing all of the above)

So what do you do when the funk sets in? When you have a bad day, and that gray cloud just d doesn’t want to clear up? Here are a few ways to help when you find yourself in a productivity funk.

1. REST.

Have you been putting off rest from your regularly-packed schedule? If you are in a place to take a day off work or your to-do list, allow yourself to just rest. You are less productive when the funk sets in, and trying to “power through” will be met with more resistance. Give yourself a break and do things that bring you joy. 

2. SET BOUNDARIES. 

If you’re a chronic people-pleaser, boundaries can be tough. Expending your energy to help others may put your own needs and priorities on hold. Work on setting boundaries around your work and what to say yes to, on what you do around the house, and on what you take on personally.

3. CHECK IN ON YOUR SELF-CARE.

Are you brushing your teeth, washing your face, getting enough sleep, or taking your medications? Are you making sure you have access to food every 3-4 hours? Are you showering or grooming in a way that feels right for you? Are you participating in activities that drain you or fuel you? Do you connect with friends and family in a healthy way? 

Not all self-care is glamorous, but these are just as essential to your well-being.  Once the basics are in check, participate in some fun self-care such as a bubble bath or a luxurious spa day. 

4. CHECK OUT OF SOCIAL MEDIA.

It doesn’t have to be for weeks, months, or even a whole day. But setting aside time when you are not checking into social media is absolutely essential. A recent study found that having your phone out in front of you, even when it’s not in use, can reduce your productivity and takes away your focus and attention. 

5. MOVE IN A JOYFUL WAY.  

Move your body in a way that feels right for you and feels fun. This is especially important during the funk when “exercising” may feel like another task.  Try going for a walk, or to a workout class you love. Or just try stretching. Your body will speak to you if you just listen.

6. FUEL YOUR BODY.

Do you forget to eat when you get busy? Your meals don’t have to be fabulous or Insta-worthy. They can be simple and satisfying home-cooked meals, or they can be take-out. Forgetting to eat only makes matters worse and leave you with brain fog.

7. ASK FOR HELP.

Reach out to a loved one, a friend, a professional and ask for help. Maybe it’s asking your significant other to take on a few more chores. Ask your parents if they can watch the kiddos, so you can truly take off for a day. Consider if you would benefit from talk therapy. Remember, there’s no shame in reaching out for help.

8. BE KIND TO YOURSELF.

We are all our own worst critic. We set impossible standards, and are incredibly harsh on ourselves when we don’t meet them.  So just remember to give yourself compassion, kindness, and forgiveness as needed. We all have unproductive days, it’s just a matter of finding your own way of handling it.

Adapted from the original post.
HEADER IMAGE: BEN KOLDE

Amanda Boyer MS, RDN, CD, CPT is the wholehearted dietitian and owner of Wholehearted Nutrition located in southern Indiana. She strives to help others live life without holding back (her definition of what it means to live wholeheartedly), by walking with them in their journey to better their relationship with food, practice joyful movement, and settle into body peace. To learn more find Amanda at www.wholeheartednutrition.org, watch for her contributions on NASM’s blog and the Limestone Post, and follow her on Instagram and facebook @wholehearteddietitian.

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