It’s a new week and while it’s good to set weekly goals and work on accomplishing them, here is a small reminder to be mindful of your productivity and feelings this week.
As we work on our goals and focus on getting things done, the thing that most frequently occurs is the tendency to link our happiness and our self-worth with our productivity.
I don’t know about you, but many times I have noticed this tendency in myself to link my happiness with how much productive I have been in the day.
When things get done, it’s a great feeling, but when they don’t or when I am unable to find the time, I notice frustration cropping up and the tendency to be hard on myself and also on others.
But thankfully because of mindfulness, I don’t get down into the rabbit hole anymore and instead, I simply notice the frustration and my attachment to ‘the ideal’ and make my self-talk kinder again.
However, I have seen that this attachment to productivity and happiness shows up in various different forms for each one of us and it may often look like this:
- the need to do more
- the need to be busy
- the feeling of not having done enough, even after working for hours
- the feeling of not being good enough unless we think we have done enough
- the feeling of guilt while resting or when we’re not doing something
- the tendency to think of a successful day with the things that could get done in the day
- the need to push our limits constantly in order to be better
And the result?
We are left feeling burned out, low on self-care and have the constant need to prove ourselves in order to feel happy.
We think that we need to ‘get all of this done first’ and only then do we deserve to feel happy.
This could be called the productivity trap of happiness because we are made to believe that we need to be productive first in order to be happy.
And this has kinda become a set way of thinking in this age we’re living in.
However, a thing I keep learning and noticing about the people who are doing their most meaningful work is that they are not asking themselves, “How much am I getting done?”
Or even “How can I get more done?”,
but are instead asking themselves, “How can I slow down and do less, but do what little I can everyday with utmost love and joy?”
They ask themselves, “How can I be happy first and then do what I am doing with the energy of love and happiness?”
They are always working on being happy first and productive later.
But when we fall into the productivity trap it makes us lose our meaning and the joy behind doing what we are doing.
So this week, can we also ask ourselves the same question?
Can we do things with the energy of love instead of stress and frustration?
Can we prioritize our well-being and happiness instead of letting our productivity decide our happiness?
Mindfulness can help us here because when we are mindful we become more aware of our tendencies, and just being aware of it reminds us to be more self-compassionate instead of self-critical.
Mindfulness lets us know what we truly need to do, and that is to step into our why, our happiness, self-compassion, kindness and well-being.
When we do this, I believe our productivity inevitably rises, our enthusiasm remains, and we do things more joyfully.
Happiness has no conditions. It should have no conditions.
And so does your self-worth.
You are worthy regardless of what you could get done.
You are worthy regardless of how productive your day has been.
And we have the right to be happy not only ‘because of’, but ‘despite of’.
P.S This was from a small part of my newsletter ‘Mindful Monday Chronicles’ where I send out my updates, insights and quotes. To receive my newsletter, join below
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