Do You Suffer From Productivity Guilt?

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Do You Suffer From Productivity Guilt?
Last summer, I traveled to Greece with 21 other Duke students on a summer study abroad program. Only two weeks after I completed my spring semester finals, I was swiftly whisked back into the Duke bubble. However, this bubble was quite different from the one to which I had grown accustomed throughout my freshman year.


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The overscheduled mind

We are often overscheduled and obsessed with efficiency. A plethora of opportunities awaits and we are eager to seize them all, as though we fear if we allow ourselves to squander a few...


Find a sustainable middle ground

We do not allocate enough downtime in our schedules. We cannot continue to plow ahead at maximum speed without acknowledging that personal time is necessary.

The key is to find a level of ...


Set time aside daily

We need to carve out a time for ourselves and cement it as a weekly appointment into our overbooked schedules. Equally importantly, we must learn not to feel embarrassed by this personal time an...



Making The Most Out Of Isolation

Making The Most Out Of Isolation

Some practical ways by which parents can cope up with this reality of being at home with kids in these uncertain and chaotic times:

  1. Create a specific time and place around the house f...

Working At Home With Kids

Parents and adults need to work at home and kids need to study to finish their semesters, but it’s hard to work with kids due to constant distractions and multitasking. 

Provide specific times and places for everyone in the family to do the required work. Get everyone to work in shifts or help out at certain times, like your partner or a neighbor.

Being Present With The Family

We humans need our family and social connections to feel safe. The little joys of staying and doing things together in a family make our stress and loneliness disappear. For too long we have been eating dinner in front of the PC with our kids busy with their devices with the headphones on. It’s time to stop being alone together and be together instead.

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Where ideas come from

Ideas come to us when we have a specific problem but we do not focus on solving the problem directly.

It’s not at all obvious how to go about thinking up some new twist on these things...

Unconscious processing

Henri Poincaré, the father of chaos theory and the co-discoverer of special relativity, relates his own discovery. "the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it.”

The Irish mathematician, Sir William Rowan Hamilton, had a similar epiphany while strolling by the Brougham Bridge. He was so delighted that he stopped and carved the defining algebraic equation into the bridge.

Don't overthink

The first phase of solving can be described as “worrying” about a problem or idea. It evokes anxiety and gives the impression of productivity.

But, overthinking can lead to a dead end. The key to solving the problem is to take a break from worrying. Focus your attention on some other activity. Take a long hike or a long drive, to give your mind the space to have a good idea.

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About Procrastination

Everybody procrastinates, but it depends on the type of procrastination: harmless or harmful.

If we procrastinate doing a useful or informative activity that we find refreshing, or if we take...

Making Decisions

People take a break or procrastinate because they don't want to decide anything and let their brains drift away wherever it is comfortable, enjoyable and easy.

If someone is tired, the mind naturally moves away from what we perceive as work.

Simplified Habit Reversal Therapy

It is a way to be aware of what is sucking you into habits that are not rewarding to you.

Example: Facebook is designed to be easy to check, and one can find interesting things in it quickly, leading to procrastination and time-wasting to someone who is not aware.

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