It’s 3 pm and you haven’t had your afternoon coffee yet. As you scroll through your to-dos, you feel your motivation waning. Glancing at the clock, you wonder how you will complete all your tasks for the day.

Even when you love your job, it is normal for your productivity to drop from time to time. When deadlines are looming, sometimes you need a little inspiration to jumpstart your creativity.

Here are some tips on how to stay productive from some of the world’s greatest minds.

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“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

When you are dreading a task, it can feel like summiting a mountain. One of the best ways to get past your trepidation is just to dive in headfirst. You might not tackle the whole challenge at once, but you won’t get anywhere until you take the first step.

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“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein

It can feel easy to give up when you run into a challenging task. However, the best solutions often arise when you keep at the problem until you solve it. You might not get it the first, second, or even the fifth time, but then again, neither did Einstein.

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“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” -Oprah Winfrey

Some people like to say that you make your own luck. If you want something to go your way, it is your responsibility to do the work to prepare, so that when the opportunity comes around, you can capture it.

If you need motivation, think about your goals. What work can you do now so that you will be ready when the moment comes to achieve them? Oprah is one of the most successful women in the world; she knows a thing or two about capitalizing on opportunities when they arise.

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“It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau knew what it meant to be mindful. The 20th-century author offers wise advice that applies even today. You may have a strong work ethic, but are you clear on the purpose of your tasks? Humans are not machines and we are not built to do repetitive, mindless work like ants.

If you feel burned out or unmotivated, focus on finding tasks that fill you and excite you; if you’re lucky it won’t even feel like work.

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“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” – Warren Buffett

We live in an age when everything you need is a click away. We have become accustomed to instant gratification, and it can be frustrating when we can’t resolve or finish work as quickly as we might have expected.

Don’t let such frustrations hold you back from producing your best work. Sometimes, being patient gives you a new perspective on the problem, and you can complete your tasks more effectively. There is no magic pill for success.

If you are struggling to find the motivation to be productive in the middle of a busy week, you are probably not alone. Even the rich and famous occasionally need a reminder of what matters to help them focus on their work. Pass on these tips to a coworker to pick them up during a challenging work day and encourage your team to be more productive.

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