Why we can’t stay productive consistently (and how to fix it)

why we can’t stay productive consistently (and how to fix it)

It’s no secret that adulthood is a roller coaster ride. Your twenties, especially, are marked by some very high highs and some very low lows. We’ve all seen the memes. One day you feel like you can conquer the world and the other you just want to stay in bed like a burrito of blankets playing a certain Bruno Mars song in the background.

Courtesy: Artekids Decor

Amidst the emotional ups and downs, the social pressures and work deadlines, there is a constant struggle to stay productive. If you’re on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn you should have seen blogs and tweets that keep putting emphasis on how you should be leveraging your time, all the time. So consciously or unconsciously you keep internalizing the thought that you should be doing something all the time and if you take a break you’re doomed. I’m here to tell you that it’s all nonsense.

Here’s the thing, I’m not saying that people start procrastinating and ignoring their responsibilities. I’m just saying that you can’t have the same level of productivity every day. So stop beating yourself up about it.

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So what do you do when those extremely welcome productivity surges hit you? It’s usual to feel it coming like a high. You actually start enjoying your work and completing your tasks. You want to do more so that you can make the most out of it while it lasts.

However, it’s easy in those days to get carried away. We push ourselves too hard shifting into this state called overdrive. It’s a state where you’re going at full throttle until your fuel runs out and your system gets heated up. So after that one productive day, you need three days of rest to start functioning again.

Here are two small but effective steps you can take to avoid getting burnt out and to make your productive state sustainable.

Build a productivity dam

Yes, you need an energy reservoir. Somewhere you can store all that productivity so it doesn’t dissipate all at once. The easiest and kind of no-shit way of doing this is to grab your sticky notes and start jotting down all the command your mind is giving you.

This is essentially a to-do list but think of it as a delaying tactic. It’s a way of reassuring your mind that you’ve listened to it and allocated time for all the tasks so you don’t exhaust yourself in a day.

Break down these tasks into small achievable goals and spread them out. That way you can achieve something every day and feel productive without switching to overdrive.

Hustling vs half-assing

I don’t know when or how hustling lost its negative connotation and became a positive term. To me, it is just another term aggrandized by the social media and capitalism. Make people work on a hundred things at once and make them feel good about it.

If you can juggle 3 jobs and manage a ton of tasks at a time then more power to you. It genuinely impresses me when people do that. But we need to shun the idea that it’s normal. For most people, it results in half-assing everything they’re doing. For people who can’t keep up for some physical and emotional reason, it results in damaged self-esteem, tremendous guilt and the horror that is the feeling of left behind.

So if you’re feeling that you’re falling short and are not able to keep up with your never-ending to-do list, tear it apart. Make a new one. Prioritize. Really see what are the things you are doing to help yourself and what are the things you’re doing just so you don’t feel left behind or guilty. Cross these things off and only make room for the stuff that adds real value to your personal growth.

Once you do this you’ll see that you’re under a lot less pressure and your productivity will skyrocket. Also, you’ll be able to indulge in your tasks in greater depth and complete them more effectively. You’ll find joy in your work.

These are just some of the tricks I use to boost my productivity and make it sustainable. What are yours? I’d love to know so share in the comments below.

 

Comments

  1. Nice

  2. The productivity dam is such a good shout! I hate feeling directionless yet motivated at the same time. I find appropriately timed breaks are good for my productivity, so I can keep pushing through it all without burning out.
    Megan // https://pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com

    • The Hamster Ball

      Good call! Taking regular breaks is the key. Love how you’re always the first one to comment on my posts <3 Thank you!

  3. Love the tips, thank you for sharing! The pug wrapped in that soft blanket really drew me in!! Haha

    • The Hamster Ball

      Aint he cute 😀

  4. To be productive I like to make a daily To Do list with only three point. It’s more easy to focus on only three. If you add more, the chance of doing absolutely nothing increases.

    • The Hamster Ball

      Small achievable goals ftw! 😀

  5. I’m so glad you reshared this or I’d have missed it amongst the Blogtober madness. Such a well written post with great points. As a bipolar bear I get the importance of pacing yourself. Basic Spoon theory but harder to do in practice than theory. I’m exhausted from doing the things when I got in from a day out last night and ended up posting my day 7 post at 4.20am so today I’ll be mostly catching up on reading (blogs mainly) and chilling in my PJs. Have a wonderful Sunday.

    • The Hamster Ball

      Aw thanks. Hope you had a lovely relaxing Sunday yourself!

  6. Really interesting perspective. There is so much pressure to be online 24/7 it’s overwhelming. Love your bio too!

    • The Hamster Ball

      Hehe thanks Claire 😀

  7. Love the productivity damn and not half ass’n it. You’re speaking my language! I just posted today about time management!

    • The Hamster Ball

      Thanks Cathy, read your post and our thoughts definitely align 🙂

  8. This is a really interesting post although I personally see hustling as something different from you so I don’t think it’s a negative thing. But being constantly productive is something I really struggle with and it’s something I spoken about on my blog before. I’m always on, on, on and I rarely give myself time to relax and do nothing because I feel guilty for not getting anything done. And even when I’m doing something “less productive”, I always add it to a to-do list so it feels like I’m still getting something done. It’s actually a really big issue for me but one that social media and working online hasn’t helped with!

    • The Hamster Ball

      The guilt is real man! And you’re right even when I’m supposedly taking time off I’m actually doing some lesser productive tasks. The key is to recognize your pattern though. Thanks for stopping by <3

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