How To Be Productive When You Don’t Know What To Do?


A woman wondering how to stay productive because she doesn't know what to do.

Sometimes, you just don’t know what steps to take next, and it is hard to be productive when you don’t know what to do. Maybe you are thinking of switching careers, contemplating what to do in your relationship, or unsure of how to proceed with a work task or weekend plans with friends. Whatever situation you find yourself in, you quickly realize that indecision and uncertainty don’t lead to much productivity.

When you don’t know what to do, to be productive, it is important first to make a plan. Do this by taking a step back from what you are struggling with and focus your efforts on another area of your life. This way you give perspective to your situation, clear your head, and also give yourself time to think.

It’s natural to worry about what is going on in your life. You want your day to go smoothly, and you want to have a plan of action so you can use your time wisely.

However, when you spend so much time worrying over what to do, you cease to be productive. Really, many people don’t know what to do in their day and even in their life. In this article, we’ll talk about how you can stay productive even when you don’t know what to do and provide 8 simple tips to help you.

How You Can Stay Productive When You Don’t Know What To Do?

If you want to be productive when you don’t know what to do, you need to figure out a plan, and you need to find some way to move forward from your uncertainty.

There are many ways you can go about formulating your plan of action and figuring out how to stay productive. We’ll talk briefly about some of these methods here. It is possible to be productive when you are confused or unsure of what you need to do.

Or course, this is easier said than done. When you are stuck in a rut, there isn’t always a simple fix for your problems. In addition, it can be hard to find the motivation to keep working and to keep being productive.

Sometimes you don’t have the energy to find a solution. Still, this doesn’t mean that you are powerless to do anything about your circumstances. Again, many people face these challenges, and many people learn to be productive in this state.

When you are stuck though, the first thing you want to do is take a step back from what you are struggling with. You can do this with all areas of your life, such as your career or a personal decision you are trying to make.

A woman at her desk who is confused and doesn't know what to do.
Take A Step Back And Clear Your Mind When You Don’t Know What To Do

Oftentimes, individuals become paralyzed with fear when they hone in on a problem too much. Having a little space can help clear your head and make it easier to find solutions to your problems.

If this doesn’t work, you could also try chipping away at other work or tasks unrelated to your current indecision.

Additionally, you could also do something else that is productive to get your motivation up. Engaging with other areas in your life will give you time to think and strategize away from the situation.

It also keeps you busy and less stressed. There are many ways to go about being productive when you are wondering what you can do next. These are only a few solutions. We’ll talk about more in the next portion of this post.

8 Tips To Be Productive When You Don’t Know What To Do

If you want to be productive when you don’t know what to do, you can take several steps to meet this aim. In this section, we’ll talk about 8 tips to help you stay productive amid not knowing what to do.

1. Focus On Small Tasks That You Know You Can Do When You Are Struggling To Be Productive

Sometimes, you can’t get yourself to focus on the problem at hand. No matter what you do, the solutions are just not coming to you.

You don’t know what your next steps are, and that is perfectly fine. As previously mentioned, take some time to get away from the decisions or work that is causing you uncertainty and stress.

Working on things that you can fix at the moment, is a great way to get the perspective you need.

When you can succeed at fixing smaller issues, you will have more confidence and motivation to tackle the challenging aspects of your life.

Furthermore, when you have some time away from an issue, you can get a more solid handle on it. You might even be able to deal with it better. Some small tasks include house chores, calling back a friend, responding to emails, and cooking a meal.

2. When You Don’t Know What To Do, Take The Time To Figure Out What Is Causing Your Uncertainty

Maybe you can’t even focus on completing small tasks. If this is the case, you might need to deal with your issues directly. You can do this by trying to figure out why you are so uncertain about what you are going to do.

Oftentimes, if you can pinpoint what is making you unconfident in a decision or task, you can better understand how to move forward with a task and stay productive.

For instance, you could be working on a project and are not making decisions because you lack confidence and think you are incompetent. But if you can confront your lack of confidence and try to find reasons why you can do something, you could move forward.

This concept can be applied to any situation in your life. You want to get to the core of why you don’t know what to do.

3. Take Some Time To Do Some Research To Become Better Informed About Your Uncertainty

Related to the previous tip, a bit of research can help you figure out how to get around your lack of decisiveness. Research can also be a great way to stay productive while you try and find out how to act next in your life.

In truth, you might be uncertain because you just don’t have enough information to act or come to a proper decision. The more you can learn about what you are trying to accomplish the better your next choices will be.

Doing research might even motivate you to be productive and help you figure out what your next steps might be.

4. Take Action To Be Productive

Sometimes you just have to take action. Some decisions and tasks won’t provide you with a lot of time. You have to do something otherwise productivity will never come.

For instance, you have a deadline for work or school assignments. Or friends have asked for your answer to an invitation or event and need to know within a certain time frame.

In these situations, the best thing to do is to act. You might not know what to do, but when you act fast, you stay productive. You have done something even in the face of not having felt confident or sure about your choice. Sometimes that is all you can hope for.

5. Clear Your Head, Consider Your Next Steps And Make A Plan

Other times, you can take your time to clear your head, and carefully consider your next steps. This can be a good strategy for productivity in the midst of not knowing what to do.

So try and actively clear your head with other non-related activities. In the long run, this will help you make better decisions. Again, time and distance give you a better perspective on issues that have been clouding your mind and mental well-being.

For instance, try going on a jog or walk. Exercise has been shown to boost productivity, and it makes you feel accomplished and more energetic.

Alternatively, you could take the time to clean your house, or even engage in a hobby you enjoy to focus your mind better. Meditation and awareness exercises can help as well.

Really, you want to do something that will get your energy levels more balanced. Binge-watching tv or doing something mindless won’t help with your productivity. It is important to feel like you are making progress and that you are productive.

6. Talk About Your Indecision With Someone Else

In some cases, you can’t be productive on your own when you don’t know what to do. You have researched and tried to come up with solutions. You have even tried and cleared your mind with productive activities.

If you have reached this point, then it might be time to ask for help. A mentor or someone who has experience with the situation you are in can help you get back to being productive.

If it’s a career-related issue, try getting help from someone in your office, maybe a boss or other co-worker. If you are having relationship issues a family member, parent, or even a friend can help you.

Whatever you are struggling with, find someone who you can talk to and try to help you figure out your next step. You just have to be willing to reach out. Stay productive and take action when trying to find a solution.

7. When You Don’t Know What To Do, Go With Your Instincts

Your instincts aren’t always right, but you have a gut instinct for a reason. If you want to make a decision fast or want to stay productive try going with your first instinct.

You can analyze your decision or planned actions a little. But if it is a smaller and low stakes choice there is no issue with using this method to stay productive and move forward.

8. Try To Find Positives In Your Situation

Lastly, you want to try and find the positives in your situation. It can feel hopeless not knowing what to do.

And it is tempting to stay in this place of doubt and fear when things are so unknown for you. However, you want to try and find positives in your situation even when you don’t know what to do.

Looking at the positives can help refocus your mind, and remind you of what you want in your life. This isn’t always the case, but when you become more positive in a tough situation, your life can become clearer.

And really, positivity leads to more productive efforts. When you are in a negative mindset it is difficult to find any reason to solve your problems or make progress towards your goals.


The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?

eightysixfourhundred, make them count


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James

Hi, I'm James! I want to help you make the most of your day by providing helpful tips and informative articles on motivation, time management, productivity, and happiness.

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