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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

It’s already 1 p.m., something has thrown you off and you have gotten nothing accomplished today. Maybe you accidentally overslept. Maybe you had car trouble. Maybe there was a family emergency or illness. No one is perfect, so everyone is bound to face this problem occasionally. While starting your day early does wonders for your productivity, there will be times every now and then when we can’t be “up and at ‘em” right away. I have gathered some tips to help those who may be struggling with this… they will help you practice being productive in a timelier manner, so no matter what, you will end the day feeling accomplished!

Tidy up your space

The space you work in plays a key role in your productivity. Working in a messy environment is a common cause of distraction, as it causes feelings of stress and anxiety. Constant reminders of your disorganization have been proven to negatively impact the brain and affect its ability to work effectively. Tidying up your space is a great way to ensure you are ready to work hard and focus on your tasks that still need to be completed for the day. I like to keep organizers on my desk to help declutter my work area and to keep all my office supplies in one place!

keeps your goals short

We often tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in such a short period of time. Keep the tasks short and doable. Examples of good small tasks include responding to emails, grocery shopping or doing laundry. Don’t expect to be able to write an unreasonably lengthy essay by the end of the day. Keeping your goals short will prevent you from pushing yourself too hard or feeling overwhelmed. If you set goals for yourself that are attainable, you are far more likely to stay motivated throughout the day!

get active

Body movement is extremely important for both your physical and mental health. Doing something as simple as going for a walk is a great way to clear your head and prepare you for the tasks that lay ahead. While exercise may seem like a waste of time to those with already-busy schedules, it can actually improve your ability to work quickly and effectively. I promise that investing time into some physical activity will do wonders!

It is easy to carry guilt for not sticking to your normal, productive schedule. Remember to forgive yourself. You most likely needed that time away from work, school or some other life responsibilities. Even though some events in life are unavoidable, we can learn to control how we respond to these events. It is always good to have a backup plan just in case your day doesn’t turn out as planned.

Lauren Cravens

Illinois '25