Quote by jmac in How to deal with less productive days?:

"it is definitely answerable, it's just not specific or practical -- everyone has these days. They come with the territory of working. Why does something special need to be done with them in your case? Why is this a special problem that needs solving? Without clearly specifying what your problem is in this case, the answers are unlikely to be anything more than, "This is what I do when I am feeling lazy / baby kept me up / had a hangover", and that isn't so useful. Hope that explains it, if not, bring it to The Workplace Meta. Thanks in advance"

If everyone has the same problem once in a while, why are those questions not wanted because they aren't special enough? The question comes from an actual problem at the workplace. Why make it fancier than it is. If everyone has the problem they might find The Workplace when they seek for an answer and in my opinion they find a very great one in Joe Strazzere's answer


I don't know about 'special' but I think the Help Center's 'Don't Ask' Page is very clear:

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”
  • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”
  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
  • you are asking an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?”
  • your question is just a rant in disguise: “______ sucks, am I right?”

Polls typically fall under the first bullet point there. When asking what people do when they are having a less-productive-than-normal day, every answer is going to be equally valid. The actual question you asked was "How to deal with days in which you feel less productive?" and here are the (paraphrased) answers:

  1. It's not a problem unless it's happening very regularly for a reason
  2. It's not an issue, so maybe you can leave early
  3. It's not an issue, but you can take a walk and try to re-focus
  4. Go home or try Personal Productivity Stack Exchange
  5. It's not an issue if it's a random unproductive day, but if it's procrastination, here are some ways to tackle it
  6. It's not an issue, but here's what I do when it happens
  7. Do less fun tasks, maybe be more social
  8. You could be being less productive, or not want to do your assigned tasks for some reason
  9. Occasional days are not an issue, but if they're happening regularly, is one of these the problem?
  10. Don't worry about the occasional day, but if this is happening regularly, is one of these the problem?
  11. Facebook! Or self-growth! Whatever!
  12. Do minor tasks that you have to get out of the way
  13. "This is where you really should know your strengths and weaknesses! Identify them and work with them to achieve a positive outcome, even your weaknesses may result in a positive outcome."

By my count, the consensus seems to be, "This happens to everyone, don't sweat it". But people are concerned because it sounds like you have a specific problem that you think needs being solved, which is why several people bring up entire lists of clarification questions for if it is happening regularly. If I were having a less productive day, reading through those 13 answers will not help me be more productive and solve my problem. If I am having regular unproductive days, then the two answers that are trying to address that are filled with a dozen more questions that there is no way for me to answer.


  1. It isn't clear that you have a problem
  2. It isn't clear what you want in a solution
  3. As asked it is basically, "What do you do when you don't feel like working?"

This is a "chatty, open-ended question that diminishes the usefulness of our site" and is definitely not "practical, answerable question" as a result. Four other people voted to close it in addition to me, so it definitely was a community decision.

  • 2
    What if my question is just as simple as it was. I had a bad day at work, how can I deal with it next time I have it. Personally Joe's answer helped me a lot, but I guess some people rather have a site full of rules instead of some questions which are well recieved, but don't follow the rules completely. Also I'd like to note that you are the first person to actually give feedback on my question, none of those other 4 people stepped up, so thanks for actually giving feedback. But I do think that is a problem that should be adressed.
    – Kevin
    Jul 22 '14 at 7:36
  • @Ajax, I'm sorry nobody else gave feedback, that never feels good. That's why I took the time to write out my comment and try to explain my reasoning. At the end of the day, it's always the decision of the community how to handle posts, they can both vote to close and to reopen, so some folks may be willing to do so for your question. Sometimes we are all less productive, but usually that's okay (there is slack in the schedule, you can make it up another day, etc.). That's why I was wondering if there were special circumstances that makes it a particular problem in your case. Hope this helps!
    – jmac
    Jul 22 '14 at 7:40
  • Why is my question deleted?
    – Kevin
    Jul 23 '14 at 8:21
  • @Ajax, it was deleted by a Stack Exchange employee (not me or one of the workplace mods). Were you planning on editing it to try to get it reopened?
    – jmac
    Jul 23 '14 at 8:26
  • Yes I saw it was not you. I am curious why it was closed, as it had valuable information for me and I think for more people. Yes I was planning on editing it for the sake of the great answers given.
    – Kevin
    Jul 23 '14 at 8:29
  • 1
    Normally questions aren't deleted that quickly, @Ajaxkevi - I was doing a bit of cleanup around here, and that one just came along for the ride. That said, you should generally assume that you have less than 2 days to make any necessary edits after a question is closed. I've undeleted the question, so please edit without delay.
    – Shog9
    Jul 23 '14 at 14:18
  • Edited, I hope to recieve feedback and I think it is a better fit for the workplace now.
    – Kevin
    Jul 23 '14 at 14:39

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