You Don’t Have to Be Productive All the Time

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

I had a really bad day. I woke up late, which meant I was running late, and had to cut down on some other stuff during the day, work did not go as planned ( three of my articles got rejected), I was cranky the whole day, and when I sat down to write, I was so burnt out from the activities of the day that I could barely write a sentence or two before giving up and calling it a day.

I wish I could say I had a long shower and then a good eight hours’ sleep, something to take off the bitter edge of the day’s events, but unfortunately, no. Ugh, even sleep wouldn’t come early to me.

In short, a very unproductive day. Sound relatable?

In despair, I texted a best friend that “ I am sad, because I’ve been so unproductive today.” And she replied “ You don’t have to be productive everyday.”

And somehow, that stuck with me. I know, anyone you know might reassure you the exact same way, saying the exact same words, but the simplicity of it was so genuine, and so reassuring that it soothed me.

And it got me thinking about something else. How our happiness is in direct proportion to how productive we are. OR IS IT?

Photo by Jacqueline Munguía on Unsplash

In a world which thrives on the measures of constant productivity and hustle,

You don't have to be productive all the time.

It is okay, to not be okay. I cannot stress this point enough. It’s fine, believe me.

Nobody cares if you meet deadlines half an hour earlier than the stipulated time, three hours after that time. Nobody cares, more than you, if you spend the night , with a cup of coffee in hand, anxiously poring over your notes for a final tomorrow, unless you fail, and maybe not even then.

Okay, maybe I’m getting a little off-topic here, but what I am trying to say is, do not lose yourself in this mad rush. Take care of yourself, because you do you, right? But eventually, the mad rush will get to you, and you will burn out.

So at times like these, and trust me, these times will come, sink into your favorite couch and tell yourself to just…breathe. Tell yourself that -

You don’t have to be productive right now. You don’t have to get all those things done right now. You do not need to workout today, or finish that whole report. You do not need to hustle, not right now. You can take a few minutes. You are allowed a few minutes, you deserve a few minutes — to be unapologetically idle. So bake that cheesecake that you love; it does not have to be perfect. Maybe clean up your work desk, maybe make yourself a hot drink and snuggle up, reading your favorite book, or just - be still for a little while.

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

We live in a world that places a lot of value in being productive all the time, but you don’t have to be, not right now.