It is ridiculously difficult to be consistent on anything that does not involve our bad habits; especially today where no one can prevent us from wasting our time. For most of us who are stuck at home with little to no work, no deadline means no accountability. We are strangely free from all our responsibilities outside our home, and this new environment can render us into an utterly relaxed state. We are now liberated from all the stress we’ve accumulated from school or work.
This new normal has many repercussions, but there’s one in particular that I would like to discuss, the daunting task of being productive during this period.
With all the free time we have, there is always that annoying, gnawing little voice at the back of our minds urging us to do something productive. The concept of productivity here depends on each individual. Some of us want to be productive by continuing our personal, creative projects that we have been putting off. While others’ idea of productivity is simply taking care of themselves more, like eating healthier, working out, or reading more books.
Yet now, we are in a somewhat paradoxical state. When we had work or school, our time was limited. This restraint made us more mindful of our time, which in turn gave us more energy to be productive at the right things. But now, we are free to do whatever we want with our seemingly unlimited time. The power of procrastination is terribly stronger in this situation.
We want to better ourselves now because we had almost no time then. However, we also want to relax and let loose because we were always stressed when we had school or work. How do we deal with this?
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
There is always this sense of urgency when we’re trying to improve ourselves. But we must realize that developing one’s character does not happen overnight. It is a slow, meticulous process where we have to be always aware of what we’re doing. We must create good habits and make them a part of our daily routine.
So, if you’re feeling increasingly anxious about not starting your path of productivity, don’t.
It’s okay. Breathe. Identify first your true, desired goal, because there’s always a chance that we’ll be productive on the wrong things.
When starting, it’s easier to get mentally tired because our minds are not used to this new you just yet. So, if you feel like you need rest, then go ahead. Do not let your guilt of not doing anything significantly productive stop you. Besides, resting is one way of taking care of ourselves, right?
After feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world, start improving yourself or begin that personal project!
Don’t get caught up in the moment though. Take one step at a time. Getting many things done in one big activity might deplete your energy for days. It is important to do those things little by little so that you won’t be overwhelmed, hence, you would have the energy to do those things consistently.
If – and this happens most of the time – you hit a bump in the road to productivity, take a break. Don’t give up, but rest. There is no point in continuing something if your mind is not completely focused. Remember, there is always a new day to look forward to.
There would always be off days because we are not perfect beings. That’s why it is extremely important to always forgive yourself. Didn’t reach your daily goal? Forgive yourself and get back at it the next day. Didn’t make the progress you desired today? Forgive yourself. Be better tomorrow. We are not always in control of what happens in our day, but we are in control of our minds, of how setbacks affect us.
Don’t be too hard on yourself when trying to improve. We are all different in how we learn things, on how we adapt to new environments. What’s important is we make each productive act a habit. Be consistent and focus on the process, not the end.
Appreciate the Process
When working on a long-term goal, the best way to never feel discouraged is to appreciate every act that works towards it. I know it seems obvious to say that we should love every second but most of the time, it’s not like that. Along the road, the beautiful result just waiting on the other side of the rainbow will escape our minds and all we can think about is the work.
We must be critically aware when this happens. To remedy this situation, go back to the time when you started. Ask yourself why you are doing it in the first place and what led you to this path. Additionally, get a journal and write all your thoughts regarding this goal consistently. How many days or weeks apart is up to you. Write your purpose, your motivations, your progress. Doing this consistently, you will become more aware of the work that you do and why you are doing it. Awareness leads to appreciation like I always say.
By appreciating the process and loving every second of it, time and work will never be an issue anymore. Getting back on track is a thing of the past.