Have you ever had one of those days when you have a million things to do but you don’t feel like doing any of them? However, the “Hustle” culture has glorified being busy and productive at all times to achieve success. Even amidst the pandemic, we are under pressure to simultaneously be active in online classes, excel in work, maintain healthy relationships, have an interesting hobby, maintain perfect skin, be socially active, and the list goes on. As a result, when we take a break, we feel nervous, unfit, and inefficient, resulting in a constant nagging to be productive known as productivity guilt.
Productivity guilt is a constant feeling of guilt due to not achieving or being able to finish things as planned. This makes us procrastinate tasks and take breaks, but a feeling of restlessness persists due to several factors, especially peer pressure on social media. This deprives us of the pleasure of resting and hinders us from fully appreciating our leisure time.
To all those who are feeling this guilt:
IT’S OKAY TO TAKE SOME TIME OFF. YOU DESERVE IT.
It's absolutely fine to take a break from your routine for as long as you need. If that isn't enough to convince you to take a break, keep in mind that sometimes the finest ideas occur while you're relaxing or "wasting time." It’s important to understand that you can be productive without being busy.
Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back for your efforts. Instead of chastising yourself for not doing enough, it's critical that you congratulate yourself on your achievements. It's admirable that you want to better yourself, but you can't do it at the expense of your mental health.
Waking up early in the morning or working late into the night aren’t necessarily a recipe for success that must be followed as the gospel truth. Changing your routine to achieve the same progress (or result) as others will only stress you out, hence proving counter-productive.
Productivity guilt, in small doses, can motivate you to do better but higher levels will do more harm than good. It’s important for you to understand what improves your productivity. After all, productivity tips are like Amortentia - the love potion from the Harry Potter novels – they’re unique to everyone.
Just remember – Your worth is not measured by how “productive” you are.