Finding purpose in productivity
Productivity is a huge buzz word (and lack of productivity can be a huge cause of #momguilt am I right??) Productivity CAN be a useful tool, but only when it has purpose. Let’s learn about 6 facts about productivity that will help you find purpose in productivity.
Alright friends let’s talk productivity.
It seems like productivity is a huge buzzword. In the workplace, at home, we’re always talking about ways to be more productive.
There even seems to be some serious #momguilt about the times you are not being productive.
But WHY do we want to be productive anyway.
Because productivity really shouldn’t need to be a goal unless you have something to DO with the time you save by being productive. In fact productivity NEEDS goals behind it to be effective.
Productivity is a tool to give you more time and more peace. It’s useful when you can find purpose in productivity.
So instead of being productive for the sake of being productive let’s do some productivity mythbusting so you can find some clarity on why productivity even matters (and see if you’re getting trapped in any of the thinking where aiming for productivity might actually be harming your).
6 Facts to ponder to help you find more purpose in productivity
Being productive without a purpose is pointless
I think every mom has felt this at some point or another. Guilt for sitting down. Frustration when you don’t have the energy to do everything on your to-do list. Feeling like you can’t sit down until every last task is completed.
But what is it about productivity that feels like a badge of honor?
What about teh beauty in rest, the beauty in stillness, the beauty in being in the moment and just loving being with your kids and your family?
Productivity is really more of a tool than a goal, and when used correctly it can open up time for you have concrete goals and plans for the time you open up by being more productive.
Being more productive can open up time and energy for other tasks IF you have concrete goals and plans set up.
So if you feel stressed and overwhelmed with #momlife some time-management techniques can absolutely help you kick the overwhelm and find the time to breathe.
But not if you don’t set aside the time and space to breathe.
Time management techniques can give you the time to start a business, to learn an instrument, to exercise, but if you don’t intentionally set that time aside, the time will be lost and the productivity will be pointless.
So before you even make an attempt to improve your time management, think about what you even want to do with the time you find.
When you have concrete goals for WHY you want to be productive you can find purpose in productivity.
Productivity can help decrease overwhelm and help you lead a balanced life
It was about 4 years ago that I really started making intentional time management a part of my life. It wasn’t that I didn’t care before, but I was a lot more go-with-the-flow and I didn’t really have a huge reason to improve my time management.
By the time I had 3 kids and a small business to run, I NEEDED to be more productive.
But even as I improved my time management, things got worse before they got better. I started to be intentional about using my time so I could get more done, but then I used that time that I opened up to do more work.
Eventually I found myself overworked and overwhelmed because I still wasn’t taking the needed time to rest, relax, and have fun.
So productivity can absolutely help you kick overwhelm and find more balance, but only if you have an intentional goal to use your time in this way.
I find that my energy limits my ability to work far more than my time, so even if it seems like a waste of time it’s much more advantageous for me to read a book, take a nap, take a long shower when my energy feels spent than it is to be “productive.”
The point of time management isn’t necessarily to use all of that time that you open up to work more.
Being more productive won’t necessarily give you more time to work
This ties into my next point that we already touched on in the last section.
Productivity is about finding balance and time and space for your goals. It’s not about becoming the energizer worker bunny.
I can only complete so much work in a day. Producitivity techniques help me to work smarter and not harder, but I still will only be able to do so much work.
This is where I might consider getting some help with work. If I have too much work, being more efficient can help, but so can hiring help, delegating chores better among the family, etc…because even if I get faster I may not have the energy I need to get everything done.
If your purpose in productivity is to work MORE maybe consider other solutions to help you with your burgeoning to-do list.
Productivity does not improve your self-worth and is not a badge of honor
I think one of the biggest reasons moms struggle with feeling the need to be busy all the time is the society we live in.
We see snapshots of other mom’s lifes and we assume they are able to accomplish so much by working non-stop and never taking a break.
Ultimately there’s so much we can’t see. We don’t know their mental state. We don’t know how much help and support they are getting from outside sources. We don’t know how much one-on-one time they’re spending with their kids.
I spent a lot of time equating my worth with how much I was able to accomplish…and this simply isn’t true. It’s not a race, and the more we run ourselves ragged the longer it will take us in the long-run.
I think part of the reason we equate our self-worth with productivity is because it’s something we can measure. But can you measure peac? Can you measure feelings of love and contentment of our kids? Can you measure moments spent truly present? There are a whole bunch of valuable things in our families that are hard to measure. Let’s not get bent out of shape measuring productivity when there are other wonderful things we are doing.
Productivity is a tool and a tool can be used in good and bad ways
I think the most important thing to remember about a productivity is that it’s a tool.
Ultimately, being more productive should not be a goal in and of itself but a tool used to accomplish your other goals.
You can use time-management techniques to open up space to live your best life, or to play the comparison game and become overworked and overwhelmed. The choice is yours.
Let’s let go of productivity as a goal, and instead see what goals the tool of productivity can help us reach.
Next week we’re going to start with where to start with meal planning and meal prep if you have no idea where to start.
Other episodes you may like:
Decision Fatigue: What it is and what to do about it
Keystone Habits: What they are and why they’re better than goals