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How to Get Over Productivity Guilt

Be Imperfect

No one is perfect—not even the people you admire most. The reality is we can’t realistically implement every life hack out there. 

Do not worry if something falls by the wayside. Pick it up again if you think it worked. Doing it a little is better than not doing it.

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How to Get Over Productivity Guilt

How to Get Over Productivity Guilt

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-get-over-productivity-guilt-1831146802

lifehacker.com

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Key Ideas

Productivity guilt

It’s the constant nagging feeling that you should be doing more. And if you’re not doing everything, then you’re a lazy slacker who will never reach your goals. -- Scott H. Young

That’s simply not true. Even small efforts have a cumulative effect.

The Flaw Of Perfection

If you were to do everything you’re advised to do to have a perfect, productive life, you’d basically have no time to just be alive, no matter how efficiently executed. 

Separate the nice-to-have from the essential. Most advice is nice-to-have—it helps, but only a little. If you can focus on the essential things that matter for your few goals, then you can stop feeling guilty about everything else.

Start Where You’re At

The question is never, “What should I do, ideally, to solve this problem?” Instead it’s always, How could I do things a little differently than last time for a little better results?

The only thing you need to do is take one step: that’s productive enough. 

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Multitasking

Those that do multitask the most are the worst at it.

Productivity is defined as, “having the power to produce.” By that definition, multitasking is the opposite of productivity becau...

Not Getting Enough Rest

  • When we get tired, we make mistakes, which means more time and money must be put into correcting those mistakes. 
  • When we get tired, it takes us longer to do things, costing more time and money to do something that could get done in less time if we were fully awake. 

Doing Everything Yourself

Either one of two problems: you don’t like delegating tasks, or you’re having trouble prioritizing which tasks deserve your time. 

Figure out which tasks deserve your time the most (or those tasks that you do best), and outsource something that’s of low priority. 

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What Deep Work Is

A process of performing “professional activities…in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve ...

Shallow work

The non-cognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted, tend not to create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.

Recognizing our limited willpower

...is the first element of deep work.

That means you won’t have the mental discipline to stay concentrated on a single task unless you prepare your mind and environment to it.

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Guilt is an informative emotion
Guilt is an informative emotion

It’s often a sign we’re not acting in accordance with our values.

The guilt of not working stems from two places: 

  • From the fact that we value working har...
Counter guilt around break time

Reflect on how you need to recharge—and, more than that, how doing good work depends on it:

  • How much you value resting your mind so you can do better, more creative work later.
  • How your focus will benefit from this attention break.
  • How many great ideas come while your mind is wandering (when you’re not working or focused).
  • How often your mind considers and plans for the future while you’re stepping back.