We’ve all been there; noisy colleagues, crying kids, and slow Internet are all unplanned problems that can pop up during the day to break your productivity. Here are a few tips to help you stay productive when nothing seems to be going your way.

Noisy kids or coworkers

When you have to deal with disruptive people around you, there are a few things you can try. Letting them know you’re focusing on something will usually keep the volume down (unless your kids are young and having fun), but if you don’t want to do that, you can invest in noise-canceling headphones, play some white noise, or move to a different desk (or location) to work.

Internet goes down

No Internet? No problem. It may not seem possible, but you can in fact stay productive even without Internet. There are multiple applications that allow you to continue working offline, and then sync your work once you reconnect to the Internet. If you know an Internet outage is coming, you can also prepare by downloading all the articles you need to read or a podcast to listen to.

If you lose connection unexpectedly, try doing a writing exercise, brainstorm with some team members, catch up on phone calls or voicemail, or organize your to-do list.

Traffic throws your schedule off

If you have everything planned out to the minute, then suddenly get caught in carmaggedon, here’s how you can stay productive.

First, try to avoid this if possible by checking the traffic before you head out. Plan your routes accordingly, and leave early enough to get to your destination when you need to be there. If that doesn’t work out, then be sure to call anyone who might be waiting on you to come in and let them know you’ll be late. This includes your manager, team members, or anyone you’re meeting.

Then, if you’re driving, put on a podcast or TED talk to learn something  new and relevant to your industry. If you aren’t driving, catch up on emails with your phone, read articles (be sure to sign up for email newsletters that will keep you updated on current industry trends), or take out a notebook and start brainstorming your next projects (blog posts, side projects, etc.).

Question: What is one way you stay productive in the face of frustration?

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick