You are currently viewing How to Be Productive in the Midst of Unproductive People
source: Nathan Jones

How to Be Productive in the Midst of Unproductive People

The following post is from Prerna of The Mom Writes: How to Be Productive in the Midst of Unproductive People

sleep at work
source: Nathan Jones

Ever been in the company of chronic procrastinators, slackers, and unproductive people? You’re not alone.

In my past life as a corporate communications trainer, I was often paired with someone who’d just not do what was required when it was needed. Suppose you’re a semi- Type A personality like me, who thrives on pressure, deadlines, and being as organized and productive as possible. In that case, you’ll know that it is tough to maintain your own productivity in the midst of unproductiveness.

You either end up taking on everyone else’s workload too or you get stressed, angry and overwhelmed. Ask me how I know that!

Here are some simple productivity tips to keep your engines running in full gear while being surrounded by those who consider productivity a bad word.

Stay Calm

DON’T allow procrastination, slacking, and general laziness in others to ruffle your own feathers. I learned this the hard way after having a total meltdown because of someone else’s unproductive behavior. Now I just take a deep breathe, focus on my own work and mentally, and remind myself to stay calm. I get more done easily and without undue stress.

Focus on Your Job or Deliverables

Whether you’re an individual contributor or a team member, remember to focus on what YOU are supposed to be delivering. Do your job. Don’t let unproductive colleagues or team members pull you down.

Focus. If it is a team project, send gentle but firm reminders to others to do their bit. Don’t be tempted to just jump in and do their work for them. You’ll only be setting the wrong expectations for other projects and making your own life more difficult.

Write Things Down

Rather than verbally discussing project details or deadlines with unproductive colleagues, document them. Write details down and send them off via email.

If need be, set up a shared calendar with important dates, so everyone gets reminders for meetings, deadlines, etc. Documenting things also rules out excuses such as “ I never heard that” or “You didn’t say that.”

Plan for Unproductivity

When you’ve worked with unproductive people once, keep their personality in mind when planning projects and activities. Plan for delays or postponements and schedule accordingly.

This is very important when you’re in charge of a team project. Even if you have a boss or project lead who’s just too laidback for his own good, keep that in mind when work on deadline-based projects. Submit them ahead of time, ask whether they’ve been approved or forwarded and follow up on their results.

How do you manage to stay productive when in the midst of unproductive people?


Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in being positively productive, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences with productivity and parenting at The Mom Writes.