Productivity is something I learned about at a very young age.
I think I learned about it from watching my parents. They would go to their jobs every day of the week, come home to make me and my siblings a delicious dinner, help us with our homework, and end the day by reading their books. On the weekends, they’d pick a part of the house to clean. Sometimes it’d be the garage, sometimes all the hardwood floors would get mopped, and sometimes it’d be all the windows on the main floor.
Growing up, I was taught to find a hobby. Find some activities I’m passionate about (or at least can put up with enough to go to several lessons and games throughout the week) and stick with those activities until I got better.
I learned if there wasn’t something I was involved with, something I wasn’t practicing and continually getting better at, then I was wasting my time doing who knows what.
Now, I do realize circumstances are quite different for a child compared to as an adult. I mean, parents and guardians have to keep us busy when we’re little because we’d probably drive them crazy if they didn’t. That notion aside, however, I think this constant placement of hobbies, chores, and practices made me develop into a person who needs to be productive, or else I consider it time wasted.
Time Spent Chillin’ is Not Time Wasted
Based on the header above, I’m sure you know where I’m about to go with all of this.
Although I value productivity and do believe it is a key component to avoiding depressive phases and periods of rumination, I do want to rid our society and minds of this belief that if we aren’t doing anything productive, then we are wasting precious time.
Before I get too far here, let me start by disclaiming that productivity is so key to establishing order, purpose, and drive in your life. Don’t get it twisted. I think everyone should hang on to their hobbies, invest the time to always try new hobbies, and always get off your butt if you think you’ve been sitting on the couch for a bit too long.
I’m here to tell you that you should take your breaks and your guilty pleasures and enjoy the heck out of them. Moments of relaxation and essentially not doing anything where you feel pressure to succeed and progress is so key to your well being.
With moderation, of course, those moment where you maybe just chill out and watch an episode of the Bachelor or play an hour of Animal Crossing are totally A-OK. In fact, if you feel bad about yourself for taking the time to enjoy those little, mindless actives, then we need to chat. Because a life of constantly trying to progress and be better and do more is debatably not the healthiest life to live.
Moderation, my Friend
Okay. Say this with me once: STRUCTURE IS GOOD. It is!
You should always set aside time in your day to reach your goals and improve upon your passions. For example, if you have a goal of running around the block in less time than you did last time, shit, don’t skip out on that. However, if you’re just feeling like taking a minute off from your day-to-day life and enjoying some personal time, you’ll allow your mind to rest and your soul to feel whole.
The idea to keep in mind with all of this is moderation. With this coronavirus situation, there seems to be a lot of pressure to do actives that keep us nimble and improving. There’s pressure to start at-home workouts and pressure to start projects you’ve been thinking about for months prior. There’s pressure to enjoy the nice weather and at that same exact time there’s pressure to stay inside and quarantine yourself.
There are so many expectations and honestly, it’s a lot.
You should certainly use this time to do the projects you’ve always wanted to do because you know it’ll bring you joy and a sense of purpose. However, if you decide to spend Wednesday with a movie you’ve been wanting to see and a bowl of your favorite pasta, please do.
Loving yourself is allowing yourself to engage in moderation. Loving yourself is getting better at your hobbies and striving to achieve your goals while also taking the time to reward yourself with a little self indulgence.
It’s time to stop bringing ourselves down and start living in a way that promotes a happier, healthier and fuller life.
Please comment and share your thoughts with me. I would love to hear your take on all of this.
For fun daily posts and tips on mindfulness, follow me on Instagram at @shesaltblog.
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