The fear of being unproductive
Some days I feel like I could create a plan to conquer every inch of the world.
But then the next day, I just want to drink tea, read book after book and watch Disney all day…..
I am going to start this blog post by rebelling from a very memorable piece of advice passed onto me from my university lecturers: never start your writing with a definition or a quote. I think I am pretty much safe to do so in this instance, unless this blog post falls into their lap somehow (which I highly doubt).
Searching the world wide web, I discovered numerous definitions for the term “productive”, most of which referred to an economical meaning for productivity of goods and items that in turn create a profit. Fantastic for a finance blog, but not for this one. That definition would not belong here.
Productivity = Perspective
So, then I came across two definitions that I knew would help to illustrate my views. Two definitions that allowed me to change my outlook on the idea of being productive and what productivity CAN mean to me.
There is no room for negativity in between these two optimistic words.
The one thing that all the definitions had in common, was the absence of any kind of negativity or any emphasis on a lack of productivity.
This is where, I believe, we make the negativity in our own minds. We constantly seek for things to do to fill the void of our “unproductive” day.
We punish ourselves for having days where we just want to relax and focus on self-care. Who has the right to say that this isn’t being productive? You will find that nobody else will call you unproductive for not spending hours cleaning or hours doing work outside your allotted work-from-home time. The only person to criticise your “productivity” is YOU. So, stop. Stop beating yourself up if you did not tick off everything on your Friends notepad or if you didn’t remove the Disney post-it notes that were desperately clinging onto the corners of your laptop.
Like the definitions say, if you have “good” or “positive” results, you have been productive! Productive for yourself.
After spending time researching the definition of productive, I deemed it unnecessary to look at what concoction of words “unproductive” would generate. I decided to make my own definition.
“To be unproductive is to actively choose to do something and put no effort in OR to receive no positive results from something you do not wish or have to do.”
Yesterday, I had a goal, an ambitious target to complete. Did I accomplish this? NO! Did I feel bad? NO! Would I have done weeks ago? YES!
I have learned to grasp hold of what being productive means and really it does not withhold a consistent meaning. The term manoeuvres and re-shapes according to the person it embeds itself within. Change your perspective on productivity. Find one thing that you achieved today. Did you smile? Did you take time for yourself? Did you complete your blog post? Did you eat something delicious? Were the results “positive”? Did they make you feel “good”? Then who are we to judge. Most importantly, who are you to judge yourself. Productivity is all about perspective.
Stop judging yourself, be kind to yourself and treat yourself to chilled days whenever you need them.
Definition of productive is from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/productive
Main image made using Microsoft PowerPoint.