Do You Have a Productivity Problem?
I have a productivity problem.
The problem isn’t that I’m not productive enough. No, my real productivity problem is I never feel productive enough. Ever. No matter how much I do.
Logically, I know I’m doing my best. But on an emotional level, it rarely feels good enough. Even on my most productive days, there will almost always be a moment, usually just before I go to bed, where I remember some little thing that’s still on my never-ending to-do list, and I’m seized with guilt.
Sure, I was productive that day. But not (never) enough.
What’s wrong with me? I think. I should have been able to get so much more done.
I’m more likely to beat myself up for not doing something I think I should have than to give myself credit for the things I accomplish.
I know that part of my guilt over not being able to reach some elusive and unattainable level of productivity comes from my tendency to be too hard on myself in general. I’m more likely to beat myself up for not doing something I think I should have than to give myself credit for the things I accomplish. But I also know I’m not the only one struggles with feeling like I’m not doing enough.
I’m not the first to say it, and I probably won’t be the last, but we live in a society that glorifies the “hustle,” and it’s incredibly toxic and damaging.
These days, if you don’t have side hustles on top of your side hustles and you haven’t monetized all of your hobbies, are you even really trying?
(Side question: When do they stop becoming “side hustles” and start becoming “having several different jobs?”)
I know that much of this over-productivity comes out of necessity. Many people have to take on side gigs and craft multiple income streams just to survive. Wage stagnation and a lack of high-paying jobs have forced many to get creative with their career.
But while the work may be necessary, the glorification of it is not. It’s not glamorous to forgo sleep and work yourself…