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How to Avoid Productivity Guilt (And become more productive in the process)

Productivity guilt

Productivity guilt is a mindset of feeling bad about not creating, achieving or working hard.

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How to Avoid Productivity Guilt (And become more productive in the process)

How to Avoid Productivity Guilt (And become more productive in the process)

https://www.lifehack.org/335662/how-avoid-productivity-guilt-and-become-more-productive-the-process

lifehack.org

6

Key Ideas

The Zeigarnik effect

This is the tendency to have “intrusive thoughts” about a task that we once started but didn’t finish. 

It is in our human nature to finish off things that we start and we often hate having to leave a project unfinished. 

Some people are very good at maintaining a detachment between their work and their outside life. For others (especially those indoctrinated in ‘life hacks’ and productivity tips), the guilt to be constantly doing something can be a real energy sucker.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Before comparing yourself to that guy over there, realize what he’s sacrificing.

If you’re feeling guilty about your lack of “productivity”, then you’re not going to be truly productive at all. 

Busy” vs. Productive

Busy-ness (or business) is a state of doing what you are told to do, having tasks piled on top of you and running around frantically trying to balance them all. 

Productivity; however, is a state of doing what we truly need to do to reach our goals. 

Cutting down the unnecessary and focusing on the essential is going to be a quick way to boost your real productivity.

You Can’t Force Creativity

Creativity is not something we “do”.  We cannot force ourselves or grind out a completely new creative idea for a blog post or essay.

Relaxing and doing nothing can actually be a vital part of the creative process. 

It is all about balance.

Solve productivity guilt

Step back and evaluate the day-to-day tasks which are the most important to you. 
  • If you’re feeling guilty about putting off an unimportant task, then cut that task out or outsource it to someone else. 
  • If you’re feeling guilty about putting off a really important task, then maybe you should do that task right now.

Most importantly, don’t let your most important tasks become a chore.

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Busyness leads to unproductiveness

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates

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Make small progress every day

Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.” – Plato

Set 3-4 important tasks that will directly contribute to what you want to achieve in life.

Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius

“If you seek tranquility, do less. Or do what’s essential. Do less, better. Because most of what we do or say is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more tranquility..."

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Reasons for productivity guilt
Reasons for productivity guilt
  • We link our behavior, our performance, our productivity, with our self-worth.
  • We also mistakenly believe that there’s actually a point where we get everything done that we want to...
Beyond comparing and competing

We don’t have to rank, compare, compete.

Do not be anxiously concerned with ranking and comparisons. Instead, be concerned with doing a good job.

Recognize process over endpoint

Reframe your life as a process of growth, not of being done.

You can celebrate your growth instead of feeling guilty for things left undone or incomplete.

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Scott Hanselman

"Hope is not a plan. Hope is nothing but waiting and letting life happen to you."

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Effectiveness Vs Efficiency
  • Effectiveness is goal orientation. It's picking something to do. This is doing the right things—picking a goal and doing that goal.
  • Efficiency is doing things in an economical way, process-oriented.
Scott Hanselman
Scott Hanselman

"Effectiveness is doing the right things, but efficiency is doing things right. That means effectiveness is picking a direction and efficiency is running really fast in that direction."

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