Rest is productive too
It's okay to be unproductive once in a while. We're human, after all.
This November, I'm challenging myself to write every day. You can read them all under the "Shorts" category, where each post should be around 500-1k words. Think of them as "less polished" than my usual longer blog posts. This is Day 6.
I'm all for productivity. Maximise and make use of our time by using tools and productivity tricks, so that every second counts in our daily lives. I was almost always on the lookout for the next best productivity hack and idea to try, which includes trying new products to up my productivity. Now I'm tired. I'm tired of productivity. That doesn't imply I don't want to be efficient with my time, but what I mean is I'm tired of reading and chasing after new things and productivity pieces of advice, books, gurus and so on. If you feel at some point you've found a system that works for you and you believe it's enough (for now), then fantastic. I'm here to tell you that it's okay to settle with what you have until you find that your current system no longer works for you. Take Ali Abdaal, for example. I admire him for being able to get so many things done efficiently, but some of his actions are a bit questionable, such as watching a movie in 2x. When it comes to productivity, I believe a line must be drawn somewhere. From an outsider's perspective, it doesn't seem like he takes the time to smell the roses at all.
What I'm trying to say is that there are only so many things you can do with productivity. You don't need to push yourself to the limit to get everything done efficiently. We're only human, after all. I believe we all can agree that allowing ourselves to take at least a day off during the week to rest and reset is good for our health. So why do we continue to convince ourselves that working on a side project is a form of rest? Why do we try to make "rest" productive? The purpose of taking a day off from work (including side projects) is to rest. Resting helps us reset our bodies and minds so that we can start the next day feeling more refreshed. Your body will appreciate it. Take naps, watch a movie, laze around reading a book, do something fun — anything that isn't work. Some people may find the hustling and bustling appealing, but we will eventually burn ourselves out before we get anywhere. The guilt eats away at you and it's difficult to detach our self-worth from productivity when we are so used to it. But I promise you, as someone who has burnt-out multiple times while treating side projects as rest and working full-time with little rest, toxic productivity does not benefit anyone in the long run.
That's why I'm trying to unlearn and relearn what it means to be more mindful of productivity. Allow yourself to take breaks in between and remember that rest is still productive.
I'll wrap this post with a tweet. Burnout is not a badge of honour. It's not something to be proud of. I hope you have a good restful weekend.