You are here
How to Undo Productivity Guilt: Part 1
Do you ever feel guilty for not being productive? You’re not alone. Especially with the added pressure of re-entering the world. We're all being expected to accomplish extraordinary things just because we supposedly have more time on our hands than ever before. It can feel as though all around us, people are starting businesses, creating courses or publishing full blown novels.
However, there are others who aren’t doing much, especially those who are struggling with mental health. Watching others excel while having difficulty with the everyday creates an unshakeable sense of guilt. Even those who used to have especially busy schedules who do a lot feel less satisfied because they're used to accomplishing more under normal circumstances.
I’ve done research on how an expert views productivity, and why it’s important for our sanity and well-being to not attach our sense of selves directly to what we accomplish. This simple awareness is the first step of undoing productivity guilt to diminish feeling like you’re not doing enough.
Expert Perspective on Productivity
In the meditation episode “Undoing Productivity Guilt”, Sensei Paul David explains the scientific research behind and benefits of actively undoing productivity guilt. David explains examples of others who have nothing, are poor or underprivileged, and are able to feel fulfilled. It's easier than you might think: they celebrate the process of their efforts, rather than their results. The cure-all is to train yourself to strive for fulfillment. This starts by having gratitude for the actions you take no matter how small: you define what accomplishments mean to you.
Two quotes that resonated with me were: “What if instead of achieving to be happy, I happily achieved?” and “Success without fulfillment is failure.”
Gratitude is a positive addiction.The more you express gratitude, the more dopamine your brain gets, which makes you feel good! Guilt can lessen, especially those with poor mental health, with an increased state of gratitude.
Once you finish a task that intimidated you before, you can increase your confidence and feel better by taking a second to acknowledge what you accomplished and how you feel. Better yet, you can feel grateful that you did it.
Netanya is currently a Media and Public Interest student at Western University, and is doing a placement with mindyourmind. She is from the GTA and is passionate about all things mental health, storytelling and empowerment.
Find blogs with relevant and up-to-date info about mental health, society and other youth topics; written by a variety of youth and professional contributors.