Preparing for Those Days when you just can’t focus

ScatterbrainIf you’re anything like me, you have some great days where it seems like you’re able to get more done than should be humanly possible.  Of course, then there are other days where it seems like no matter what you do, nothing is getting accomplished.  You can’t stay focused on task, there are constant distractions, and it is (for some unknown reason) impossible to decide what you should be doing.

These days often end up getting filled with jumping from forums to blogs to writing a few paragraphs, only to delete half of it because you didn’t like it, and of course, browsing Facebook.  By the end of the day you stand up only to realize that you haven’t really gotten much of anything done!  For me, these are the most frustrating types of days.  It would have been better if I had just taken the entire day off and taken the kids to the park!

Of course, the problem is, you never really know when these days will hit, and I often don’t even realize how unproductive I’m being until a few hours into the day.  So, in order to attempt to combat these types of days, I’ve started making a list of things I can do to help at least get some value out of these scatterbrained days.


Any time I think of something that doesn’t take much brain power, can be completed in under 5 minutes, and is still valuable to achieving your goals.  In my case, my goals are to build up this website as well as to keep getting new clients to write for as a freelancer.  Here is my list, hopefully it will help inspire you to create a list so you don’t have any more completely wasted days!

  • Read & Comment on Blogs – I’ve got a list of blogs in this niche which I like to visit to see what I can learn, and to make a quick comment for the traffic and back-link.  This type of activity allows me to harness the ‘power’ of not focusing because I’m able to jump from blog to blog, while still producing something valuable.
  • Find New Blogs – Searching around Google for other sites in my niche, reading some to see if they are providing anything useful.  If they are, leave a comment and add the site to my list of blogs to come back to again.  If not, keep on movin!
  • Think of Things to Write On – Making a list of topics for me to write on later, when I’m not feeling quite so unproductive is a great benefit.  It makes it so I don’t have to waste time coming up with topics on days when I’m actually getting things done.
  • Social Media Interaction – Sending out a quick tweet or Facebook post or interacting on any other social media property is very useful, and won’t take too much focus.
  • Forums – Reading through your favorite forums, leaving comments or even starting threads.  If you’ve got a link in your signature, even better!
  • Guest Blogging Opportunities – Find sites where you want to write a guest blog is great option for days like this.  Even writing a quick introduction email or contacting them through Facebook can be very beneficial.
  • Submitting to Article Directories – I never submit my content to an article directory until it has been up on my site for at least a week or two.  By then, I often forget to go back and submit it!  Since the article is already written, it only takes 3-5 minutes to submit, so it is a great activity for days like this.
  • Bid on Jobs – Swing over to eLance, oDesk or your favorite freelancing site and bid on a job or two.  Just find a couple that look interesting, and toss in your bid.  If you don’t win, no big deal.  If you do, you’ll have some extra work to do on your next productive day.
  • Keyword Research – Try to find a good topic to write about through keyword research.  It is a great way to come up with ideas, doesn’t take long, and will help you get more traffic down the road through the search engines.

That’s all I’ve got on my list at the moment, but I’m always looking for new things to add to it.  The bigger the list, the more productive I can be, even on those unproductive days!  If you don’t have a list like this yet, why not start one?  It can be kept in a excel document, a note pad, or even a piece of paper stuck to your wall!   Give it a try, the next time you can’t seem to focus, you’ll be glad you did.

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  1. says

    I often have days like this (and many of the others where writing isn’t a problem), but when I do experience these “fog” days, I get outdoors.

    I use the time to get in a healthy walk, run errands to the bank or store, and generally do odd ball things until the fog lifts. 🙂

    Most times, when you’re busy doing something else, a light bulb moment hits you and it’s back to work!
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…Summer Biz-Builder Challenge Review – Part 2, Inside the WorkshopMy Profile

    • says

      That’s a great idea too! If I’m being unproductive I’ll sometimes take a break and walk with the kids up to the park. They have fun, I get some energy out, and sometimes I can come home and get back to work.



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