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Overcoming productivity guilt

Thanks to the rise of hustle culture, it’s becoming harder and harder to just slow down. It’s so easy to feel like you NEED to be productive all the time, and if you aren’t, you are a failure or should feel guilty. This is called productivity guilt, and we have all felt it at some point or another. If you catch yourself saying things like ‘I am so lazy’, ‘I should be doing more’, or ‘I can’t afford to take a break’, then you are likely a victim of productivity guilt gf. 

The truth is, working until you burn out is not only detrimental to your mental and physical health, but it will also decrease the quality of your work, as well as your motivation and passion for what you do. This is why it is SO important to be able to switch off and take breaks without feeling guilty for it. 

So, how can we do this? Here are my top tips for overcoming productivity guilt and becoming more intentional with your time.

  1. Take regular work breaks. Research shows that our brains have a natural capacity limit, and once we reach this we lose focus. Make sure to take regular breaks from work, and set a reminder on your phone if you need to! Aim for at least 5-15 mins every 60-90 minutes. 
  2. Be intentional with your to-do lists. Put the most pressing things at the top of your list, and pick just 2-3 things per day so you don’t get overwhelmed. If you end up with more time, great! But start small so you aren’t disappointed if you don’t get through everything. 
  3. Take holidays when/if you can. Don’t be afraid to book that holiday gf. Time away from work is so incredibly important, and chances are you will return feeling refreshed, more motivated, and productive.
  4. Be smart with your scheduling. Schedule important meetings or work events for when you are most productive. Don’t feel like you need to be confined by ‘normal’ work hours. If you are super productive very early in the morning, great! If great ideas come to you at night, that’s good too! Become aware of when you are most productive, creative and motivated, and use that time to your advantage. 
  5. Set boundaries. Make sure you set some strict boundaries around your work, and remember to prioritise a work-life balance. Setting boundaries doesn’t make you weak, and it will actually allow you to show up as a better friend, mother, partner, or employee. 
  6. Focus on what you DID achieve. Instead of dwelling on everything you still need to do, try and focus on the things you DID get done. Remember that you are only human, and you can’t do everything all the time. Small progress is still progress, and any task that you tick off is worth celebrating. 

Remember, you’re doing the best you can. Take a deep breath, slow down, and book that holiday bestie! 

Soph x