Overcoming Productivity Guilt || Learning To Let Myself Relax

productivity guilt - coffee mug on wooden table

Here I sit trying to make use of the free time available. I’m pretty damn tired & I could potentially use this time to do absolutely nothing but… productivity guilt has hit once again. Isn’t it funny how even on your crappier days you can get taken over by a wave of guilt.

Am I doing enough? Could I being doing something more productive? Why am I wasting this moment?

Productivity guilt sucks & it seems very catching.

I asked my followers if this was something they’ve experienced & 93% replied yes. Let me repeat myself; 93% said yes!

93% of the people who kindly responded to my story  (I’m aware its only a handful of people don’t worry) can’t embrace those lazy moments just like me. We all get this niggling feeling.. productivity guilt.

I do get moments just like everyone else when I can do absolutely nothing. I rather enjoy being a couch potato. Sometimes I can do that without caring at all. Other times I have to beat myself up about it before admitting maybe I need a break. I pretty much have to justify why I’m doing nothing to myself & anyone around me.

There’s nothing more I hate than people thinking I’m lazy because I really don’t want that label. Yes I can be lazy but I don’t think I’m a lazy person. Well I’d like to think I’m not anyhow.

I don’t like to waste free time & I’ve always got something I could be doing. I think blogging contributes to it a lot because if I’m free then I could be working on my blog. I could be writing, taking photos, doing admin or y’no updating those links I’ve been meaning to do forever!

I always have something in my life to take up time. I think it’s a millennial thing. I don’t think it’s just me. I think we are in this bubble of always needing to be productive.

Having a child has made it ten times worse but also made me think about it in a different light.

I have to relax because I’m keeping a baby fed & healthy. That’s a full time job in itself.

In the past month or so I’ve learnt how to let myself relax & shut off that productivity guilt. It’s not fool proof & sometimes I can’t switch it off but other times it works.

I’ve learnt that I need structure. It’s pretty important for me. I need to make a plan, share that plan & then implement it. Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it.

But then I also need to be able to throw structure out the window at times. Be able to shake it up, rearrange & do things on a whim. That’s probably more my BPD worming its way in with the impulsiveness.

So my structure needs to be a little fluid. I need to make my plans flexible so I don’t feel so trapped that I get irritated at them.

I basically need wiggle room so now I’m trying to make ongoing plans. I’ll make a list of what needs to be done & make that a to do list for that week. Least that way I can have those “call it quits” days where I do nothing or days where I’m just too busy to do anything else.

It works for me right now.

That’s the combating the productive side but I also need to learn to relax.

Right now I’ve realised that at times I need to take myself out of my surroundings to be able to relax.

If I’m at home & having a lazy day I can get aggy. I’ll feel like I should be doing stuff in the house even though I’m busy with a baby. It makes me irritable & not really pleasant to be around.

I spend more time worried about doing nothing than relaxing or actually being productive. Makes zero sense but hey the fact we even get productivity guilt makes zero sense.

If I take myself out of my everyday surroundings I usually can relax a lot easier. It’s not always possible but I’m very lucky to have a lot of support so I usually can escape.

Being on maternity leave means I feel like I have lots of time to do things that I wouldn’t have before. In reality I have a lot of time on my hands but its focused on being a mother.

I have to learn how to combat the productivity guilt because I have way more time to feel guilty.

Right now I’m learning how to let myself relax as well as learning how to sort out a new routine.

I will get to a stage where everything slots into place but as of today it still feels like a bit of a puzzle.

I’m happy to say to say I’ve reached out for help to make sure these new tendencies don’t escalate into a bad behaviour because that can quite easily happen. I’m ready to embrace what help is available to me & make the changes that are necessary.

It may take a while for me to learn how to switch off that productivity guilt & be okay just doing nothing but at least I’m recognising it’s an issue & working on coping with it.

If you experience this or have any things that have helped you along the way please let me know in the comments.

Shelley xx

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