Productivity. We all have our own definition of what it means to be productive. Sometimes it could mean getting up, getting dressed, showering, and eating three meals in a day. Sometimes it could mean running ten miles before six in the morning, working a desk job from nine to five, coming home to a family to prepare dinner and get the house cleaned and laundry done before getting in bed and writing another chapter for a book you are working on.
There is no one size fits all for what productivity is, but maybe there is a one size fits all for a particular person.
I have a pretty set amount of things that I can do in a day before I get burned out or a set way of being productive in a way that is sustainable for me to live my life comfortably. Does this mean that every day I have the same amount of productivity? No. It depends on what time of the month it is, how I slept the night before, what the weather is like, and also what is happening in the world that is affecting me.
All this being said, my productivity in 2019 was very very high. I am actually not exactly sure I was at a place were it was being a healthy amount of productive or I had gotten to a point where I was seeing just how far I could push myself. I remember many times thinking that I was very tired but sleep was for the weak and I needed to keep pushing, keep going, keep doing. An object in motion stays in motion and I had lived so much of my life barely getting by that this new found way of living and doing things was exhilarating, but my gosh was it exhausting.
I was running almost daily, I was lifting weights, I was biking or walking to work instead of driving. I was also going on long walks. Then I started working a desk job and I couldn’t move throughout the day. This put me in a tough mental place. Then I switched jobs to being in a very active environment as a nanny and my work schedule was much different than the office job. I was moving my body more again. I was finding so much joy in my new job that I couldn’t really sleep because I was so excited to go to work.
2019 turned to 2020 and my body was showing me signs of wanting (needing may be the more correct word here) to slow down. I started to have pains in my body that I had never had before and I just felt like something was off in my life. I was tired; tired when I woke up, tired when I went to bed, tired throughout the day. At this point I also discovered that caffeine was not something I could tolerate anymore. What type of cruel joke is it to be tired and not be able to consume caffeine?!??!
Realizing that caffeine would just be a bandaid for some underlying thing, I decided I needed to get to the bottom of this. This is actually when the pandemic hit. This really disrupted my sleep and my anxiety was at an all time high. My consistent sleep schedule became a thing of the past; my eating habits became different, I wasn’t going to work, and I was on my phone a lot. This made me feel terrible.
It took a few weeks of feeling like crap to figure out I needed to do something about it. I figured out a new healthy balance of incorporating slow living (living in a more mindful and balanced way) into my life along with being productive. I realized these two concepts do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Things in my life started to click back into place and I wasn’t tired all the time. I was thinking more clearly. When I was working out I felt empowered instead of dreading it. I was living my life in a way that was making me feel good about myself instead of telling myself that I wasn’t doing enough.
That sounds like a simple task, but I can not even put into words how hard it was for me to learn that it is okay to be less productive sometimes. It is okay to not workout every day. It is okay to eat more on certain days. It is okay to not get everything done you were planning to get done. It is okay to take days for yourself to just relax. It is okay to not get over 10,000 steps some days. It is okay to be exactly who you are, where you are.
It is okay to just be.
So have I had a super productive 2020? With things that I could show you physically no, not really. But I have learned how to live in a way that is sustainable and brings me great joy and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Will I always be a person that loves to cram as many things as I can into a short amount of time? Honestly, I think this answer is yes but I can’t predict the future.
What I know is it is imperative to keep busy and also make the time to relax, unwind, and just be.
Has 2020 been anything like I thought it would? Absolutely not.
Has 2020 been a wake up call for me? Yes!
So even when things don’t go according to your plan, it doesn’t mean that they are going in the wrong direction.
Think about it.
Take the time to appreciate being alive and just being.
Take a deep breath and just be, with me.
You can do it.
Until next time,