Every single independent professional out there has experienced it at one time or another. There are simply some days when you just do not feel like working. Forcing yourself to try and be productive on a day when you are faced with a creative block can actually backfire: Tasks that you can normally complete in a short time can take hours, and the quality of your work can suffer, too.
So what's an uninspired independent professional to do? There are actually several things you can do to remain productive even when the last thing you want to do is get work done—and they just might help you get your motivation back, as well.
1. Do some organizing. Sometimes an independent professional's workspace can just be too messy or disorganized for creativity to flow. So take some time to get things back in order. Throw away anything you don't need; make sure there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. You could even spend some time organizing the files on your computer. Make sure that you have easy access to the files and tools you need, and that items you need to keep in storage long-term are quickly locatable, as well.
2. Brainstorm. If your brain just does not want to cooperate when you want to work on a certain project, cut it some slack, and let it dwell on something else for a change. By switching gears and brainstorming ideas for a different project, independent professionals can often get those creative juices flowing again for both projects. And you will still be getting important work done, at the same time!
3. Watch a video. Not just any video, though—cat videos on YouTube don't count. But watching a motivational or educational video, such as a TED Talk, can give your mind a chance to be refreshed and find new inspiration.
4. Do a little networking. You don't even have to leave your office to do it. Just reach out via phone or email to an old client you haven't heard from in a while, or even an old mentor or colleague. While you are having a pleasant time catching up with them, you will also be reminding them of your work, which just might land you a new project.
5. Read a book. There are so many motivational business books on the market, it is almost impossible to run out of new options to read. Choose a book that fits your situation, and read a few chapters to get those juices flowing again.
Choosing one or more of these activities to do when you just don't feel like working can turn a torturous, unproductive day into an inspired, productive workday. Taking time out to refresh yourself when you don't feel motivated is an important tool to have at your disposal for those inevitable slow days. And once you have been refreshed, you can plunge back into your work headfirst, more productive and creative than before.