The internet is littered with articles on how to be productive. It's a common "problem" we all grasp with. Sometimes we spiral further because we were unproductive yesterday. It seems we're left behind.
Throughout the years, I've grasped with my own definition of productivity. Being surrounded by high performing people, it's easy to feel like I'm the laziest person in the room.
There's a big difference between productivity and busy-work. There's a fine line between doing something for the sake of doing versus the act of moving towards our big goals.
I've only verbalized how I deal with feeling unproductive when one of my friends asked us what we do when we're on an unproductive slump. Here's what I answered in its edited form:
I also felt bad about having unproductive days, but my attitude towards it has evolved.
As said in the Bible: Everything has a season. We have moments when it's like we can do anything but there are also times when we just want to lie down in bed and do nothing. So I learned how to listen not just to my body but also to my environment. When my body is tired, I rest.
There are also some days that I want to go out and don't feel like working or homeschooling. So I just go out instead of getting distracted thinking about what I want to do.
BIG DISCLAIMER: I acknowledge the privilege I have to do these things because I don't have a traditional 9-5 job. But back when I did (and had no children), I did the same but only in small doses. And that micro rest yielded better output.
And then when the slump ends, it's done. But I don't bounce back right away. What I do is, I try to follow my usual rhythm but I make my goal super small. If I'm in no mood to write on that day, my goal met if I open Google Docs. There's no point in sulking around.
If I need to work out, it's already an achievement that I unrolled my yoga mat. The next day, it's a success when I already did my warm-up. Tiny steps.
On the flip side, if I get too excited about a project. I force myself to rest even if I'm super pumped up. Knowing myself, it will lead to a crash later on.
Your productivity is a measurement if you're going towards your big goals. It is not merely the number of things you've accomplished in a day.
Here are this week’s articles you can invest your time in because you’ll learn something new about the world or yourself:
The “No Zero” Day — One Simple Way To Never Have An Unproductive Day | Adam Bergen | 🕰 5 minutes
Productivity is something we aim for on a daily basis. At the end of the day, we punish ourselves for not doing things that are on our to-do list. What is the solution to having a No Zero Day? The answer goes beyond tweaking your to-do list.
Sprezzatura: The Art Of Making Difficult Things Look Simple | Constant Renewal | 🕰 4 minutes
Something to add to your vocabulary (not sure how to pronounce it though). You know at least one person who's like this and what's interesting is that they sometimes don't know how they did it! But that doesn't mean it came easy or simple for them.
From Trevor McKendrick’s newsletter.
Maureen Murdock’s Heroine’s Journey Arc | The Heroine Journeys Project | 🕰 4 minutes
I've been familiar with the Hero's Journey framework since high school but I only found out about the Heroine's Journey!
16 Tales of Love and Obsession to Help You Survive Valentine's Day | Atlas Obscura | 🕰 4 minutes
Whether or not you like Valentine's Day, here's a buffet of related stories! Choose your poison😝
What part of this issue resonated with you the most? 😊