Be Productive (By Doing Nothing At All)

Be Productive (By Doing Nothing At All)

It’s Saturday. I have no plans, no obligations. The weather is gorgeous. It’s the perfect day to relax, enjoy the sunshine, and bask in my freedom – right? Wrong. 

I’d recently moved on from a position where I'd managed a business that was open 7 days a week. While I did have days off of work, I was still more or less on call if anything should come up that needed immediate handling. Whenever I had down time, I’d be flooded with anxiety thinking of all the things that still needed to be done. Relaxation was not easy to come by. So the best thing to do would be to itemize everything that needed to be done and chip away at each task according to importance – right? Wrong again. Procrastination was my middle name, especially when it felt like there was too much to do to ever get it all done. 

So then what? My anxiety, procrastination, and workaholic nature were playing an incessant game of tag, and my well-being was caught in the crossfire. Fast forward to that lovely Saturday, when all of the actual tasks had been removed, but I still felt a sense of guilt in taking time to relax. 

The truth is, there’s always something we can be doing. It might be sending out those last couple of emails, paying bills, doing laundry, meal prepping, or giving mom a call. But what happens when the endless to-do list of adulting doesn’t include time for ourselves? How productive can we really be without self-care?

We tend to hang our sense of feeling accomplished not necessarily on our productivity, but on how busy we are. The busier your life is, the more you have going for you, the more important you are, the more you have your shit together – right? I started to see the flaw in this way of thinking. As a society, we’re addicted to crippling ourselves by overcommitting. This allows us to “have a good reason” for not taking care of ourselves as best as we should. We lump self-care in with luxury, and make it something that has to be earned, that we only deserve when we’ve accomplished the extraordinary. 

This is a misconception. Self-care isn’t a time to treat yo’self (although, that should happen once in a while too), it’s an integral part of creating a lasting foundation of productivity and happiness. The better you take care of yourself, the more prepared you are to handle your life. The more time you spend listening to the needs of your body and your mind, the more you can filter out some of the things that keep you so “busy” and give you anxiety. Then, when a day off arrives, you can stay present and soak it in. 

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? So how do we get from the guilt to the joy? Step one, close your eyes and take a deep breath. This simple action of slowing down and stepping into the present moment will allow you the opportunity to ask yourself what you need. You may be surprised to find that the answer might not be a trip to Mexico, but a glass of water and a walk around the park. Just like when you start learning any new skill, take small steps. Get to know yourself.

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Be In The Flow, But Don't Get Swept Away

Be In The Flow, But Don't Get Swept Away