On being productive

On being productive

It’s a fantastic feeling–being productive. Getting shit done and accomplishing something feels good. Thanks to my and Anish’s work schedules (not really thanks because it sucks a lot), I have every weekday evening to myself to be productive and get shit done. But there are some days when all I want to do is switch off for the entire evening and do as close to nothing as possible. And yet when I do that I feel guilty that I’ve wasted time by not being productive.

It’s probably the time of year but it seems as if everyone has some advice on “being productive”. There’s one blog article after another posted on how not to waste a second of the day. How watching TV or a film is not productive, and that we need to cancel our Netflix accounts. That playing a little bit of Uncharted (I’m playing catch-up with this series) is a waste of time. Get more stuff done in a day than you ever have done before! You’ve got to be doing something at every moment of the day that will further your life, career, or work you towards some goal.

That’s not doable. I tried it, and it was hard. Things went downhill when I started to fixate on those evenings where I had “wasted” my time. That evening when I spent the entire night watching episodes of Treme, I could have written a couple or blog posts or read that piece on the latest innovations in email marketing. I began seeing the things that I enjoyed as a waste of time.

We can be productive in different ways. I’ve learnt that being productive for me can include doing the mundane things. Like tidying up the living room, sorting the laundry, or emptying the dishwasher. Shit got done and now I can put my feet up.

There’s got to be a balance of having that sense of accomplishment by being productive, with kicking back and letting yourself switch off. And not making yourself feel guilty of that decision. It’s a balance I’m working on every day.

What about you, are you a productivity fiend?