Why Are We So Obsessed With Productivity?

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Hey everyone,

This week's post is all about productivity. And unlike most productivity blog posts, I'm not trying to tell you how to 'BE MORE PRODUCTIVE' or 'GET MORE DONE', I'm telling you that mindset is killing us. 

Take me for an example, yesterday I handed in my last ever university essay. Woohoo! Right? I'm finally free! But instead my mind suddenly went, RIGHT, what can we fill the to-do list with now? I instantly needed something to replace the university stress, with more stress of a different kind. 

This culture of being productive is an odd one, because although most people won't admit it, we fight to be the one who worked the hardest. You hear that your friend spent 3 hours revising for a test, and you felt secretly overjoyed that you spend 6 hours revising for it. You've WON the productivity competition.

And I'm not bagging on these people, because I AM one of these people. I bloody love ticking off a to-do list. I love being able to say, yep, it's 10am and I've already been to the gym, wrote an essay, wrote a blog post, meal-prepped for the week. Yes, I use ALL of my hours wisely. But, God, it's boring. And it's BAD FOR US. 

We can't ENJOY things anymore, like spending a bit too long being engrossed by a magazine, a newspaper or a book. Or, hell, you don't want to admit it but you secretly love scrolling down Facebook seeing the local gossip. And you definitely won't admit you spent a bit too long doing it before bed because you can't bare to admit that you were WASTING TIME.

Yeah, I hate wasting time. Because time is precious. I feel so grateful every day to be alive, because life is so short and can be taken at any moment. But damn, is it wasted time if you enjoyed it? Is it wasted time watching that hilarious Youtube video because you only allowed yourself a 15 minute lunch break from your 9 hour day in the library?

Being productive isn't bad. We can't spend all day watching Youtube videos, or we'll never get a job or pass our degrees or whatever. But when it's coming at the price of your overall happiness, I don't think it's worth it. 

I've been trying to get out of this mindset recently, and I've been working on a few ways to decrease my obsession with productivity (yes, this is an article about decreasing productivity):

1. Unfollow Obsessors

Okay, this one sounds harsh. But I followed a few people who posted a MASSIVE (and I mean, MASSIVE) to do list every morning. Every single morning. And they updated us throughout the day with how far they'd got on their to-do list. All the while, I was comparing myself to them, thinking gosh, I've hardly got anything done in comparison. I mean, the floors don't NEED mopping, I did them yesterday, but I can't just sit around watching Jane the Virgin. I NEED TO BE DOING STUFF.

2. Start With The Essentials

Like I said earlier, we have to get stuff done. We have to get our work done, eat, clean up after ourselves, etc etc. So just start with that. For me, this is putting things on my to-do list like 'write X blog post' and 'tweet out my blog post' rather than 'WORK ON BLOG' 'PROMOTE BLOG'. These things are way too abstract and you can work forever promoting your blog, and fiddling around with your theme, STOP THAT. There's no need.

3. Stop Joining in With The 'I'm So Busy' Chatter

So your mates come home, and they tell you that they've finished some notes they've done that day and they're super proud they've got them done. You say well done, and instead of stopping there, you proceed to tell them about everything you got done, which just happens to be MORE than them, because you're a super productive working queen. Stop that. You are becoming the problem.

I want to say, this post isn't to say - NEVER WORK AGAIN! QUIT YOUR DEGREE FOR NETFLIX! The message of this post is - stop feeling guilty for enjoying your life. You do not have to fill every moment of the day with work.

What do you think? Have we gone mad with productivity?