How to be productive

How to be productive at a job you don’t like

Many of us millennials are in a situation where we are not employed in our field of choice, making it a little difficult to like the job. Some actually did make it into their field, but are maybe finding it hard to enjoy. But, we’ve got bills to pay and waiting for the perfect job to come around is not an option.

When you don’t like your job, it can get pretty hard to stay motivated and productive – two things that are very important to keeping yourself employed. If you have found yourself in this situation, you could probably use some tips on how to be productive!


Figure out your most difficult or boring task, and multitask through it

While many productivity articles will tell you not to multitask, sometimes multitasking is exactly what you need to get through a task you are dreading or unmotivated to do. Instead of staring at a task while trying to will yourself to do it, take a couple of minutes to do an easier and more mindless task (like sending or replying to an email), then return to the more difficult task rejuvenated. This is called “mindful multitasking” and while not applicable to every job, can be a useful tool for desk jobs with a variety of tasks.

Do nothing

That may sound anti-productive, but taking time to do nothing is important for your productivity! Working for an extended period of time drains your focus, and if you don’t give it proper breaks, it’s bound to reach it’s peak and affect your ability to get things done. This doesn’t mean just “not doing work” – literally do nothing. Step away from your desk, leave your mobile devices, take a walk and try not to think about work or the world for 10 to 15 minutes. Taking three to five minutes addition micro-breaks throughout your day when you feel your brain need and power walk around your office, or take a bit of time to just stare out the window, mind blank. People might look at you strangely, but you know what you’re doing.

Talk with your manager about your working situation

If you have an open office floor plan, assess your seating situation and see how it’s contributing to or hindering your productivity. Group dynamics at work are important to be familiar with and to discuss with your manager. Some jobs call for a proper mixture of different personality types, but if there is an aspect to that that is hindering your productivity – co-workers who talk too much, or ones who don’t talk enough for proper communication or workplace bonding. Being able to bond with your coworkers in a way that works best for you is key to staying motivated when the work is getting to you. Talking openly with your manager will help you get into a working situation that is right for you.

You may not love your job, but you’ve got bills and your productivity directly affects your employability. Finding ways to cope and motivate yourself is going to help you stay productive and get through the day-to-day tasks you have to take care of. What unconventional tips for staying productive do you have?

Do you have any tips on how to be productive, for a job you either don’t or do like? Tell us below in the comments.

Photo: BMiz / Flickr

Mila Sanchez is a writer and recent college graduate with a B.A. in Linguistics. Her ambitions in life include traveling the world, studying languages, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax.

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