Productivity | 4 Min Read

#50 - 4 Ways to Avoid Productivity Guilt

In today's online world it's easy to always feel guilty for not doing enough, that's productivity guilt and here are 4 ways to avoid it.

Hey Friends 👋

Over the last few weeks, I've found myself slipping into a world of what I'm going to call "productivity guilt"; it's when we're concerned, worried, or doubtful that we haven't been as productive as someone else or as we could've been.

For me, this often stems from social media and the "perfect" online world where it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you're not doing enough. So, in light of these last few weeks, I wanted to share four ways to help avoid falling into productivity guilt.

1: Weekly goals

I'm a big fan of setting goals; it's something I constantly mention here, on social media and in other mediums. Setting goals and holding ourselves accountable to them can do wonders for our productivity but they can also help us avoid guilt.

If we don't set any short-term goals, it's easy to fall into the thinking of "I haven't achieved enough, I need to do more" and the reality of the situation is in the creator-economy and online overall, there is always more to do so this is a self-perpetuating circle of wanting to do more.

But, we can break this cycle by just setting realistic goals each week; that way when we've achieved our goals for that week, we know we've been productive and have nothing to be guilty about.

2: Daily highlights

This one is similar to the weekly goals but on a daily level. It's easy to wake up, go to work, have dinner, and go to bed to do it all again tomorrow without spending any time working on the things that mean the most to us or what will help us achieve our longer-term goals and dreams.

This is where the concept of a daily highlight comes in; I first read about it in the book Make Time and essentially it's where each day we pick one task and make it our highlight for that day. Then we schedule time for that highlight on our calendars to ensure we get it done and if we get our highlight done, then great it was a productive day, no guilt allowed!

3: Maintenance days

One of the biggest reasons people don't work on themselves or set aside time to work on their projects and goals is because they don't have the time to due to household chores and admin tasks that need to get done.

Now, the first answer to household chores would be to outsource them, especially if you don't enjoy that task. But, for the vast majority of people outsourcing and paying others to do the chores isn't an option, especially with the current cost of living crisis happening.

So, instead, group them onto a maintenance day. Maintenance days are something I've covered before in the newsletter (edition #45). I came across them in The Productivity Project and it's where we group all of the boring life necessary tasks like cleaning, hoovering, shopping, etc all onto one day so we don't need to think about or worry about them for the rest of the week, allowing us to focus on our daily highlights and weekly goals.

4: Don't scold yourself

Finally, don't scold yourself if you miss a weekly goal or a daily highlight. After all, life happens and sometimes things slip for a few days or a week or two. But, what's important isn't that we missed our goals, it's that we get back up and go again at our next daily highlight or weekly goals.

If we do miss goals, we shouldn't feel bad about it but we should try to understand why. What is an outlier or freak occurrence of something that won't happen again or is unlikely to? Or, is it something that could be a repeating issue? Once we understand what caused us to miss our goals and highlights, we can work on resolving them. But, most importantly we should do it through a lens of self-reflection and growth and not one of guilt.

I hope you have a wonderful week ahead; I'd love to know what your weekly goals are for this week so if you want to share them, hit reply and let's get talking.

Thank you for reading.

Coner x

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