How to unlink productivity from your self-worth

Productivity self worth| How to unlink productivity from self worth| Cocktails and Ambition

Productivity and self-worth are things that we often conflate together. I’m someone who always has to be busy and for the longest time, I wore this as a badge of honour. To me, being busy meant that I was taking my life seriously. That I wasn’t a slacker but was it really did was mask my anxiety and the layer of fear that if I ever stopped working or didn’t try hard in school I’d lose my scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to afford rent and then dig my self in a deeper financial hole than my current student loans were already taking me.

This has not been an easy habit to break and I’m still a to-do list make and time blocker but I’ve been learning to cultivate a sense of self-compassion and changing the way I think about productivity and I wanted to share the steps have helped me

It’s a never-ending journey

First, realize that there’s never enough productivity to fill the void of left by a lack of self-worth. There’s always more to accomplish. The goal post for productivity is always moving, they say to own a house by 30 and be a millionaire and even if you achieve that then you need to always produce, to always be innovative so that you maintain an edge, it really never ends. 

A Lot of this stems from how our society is structured, the endless need to produce keeps the system going until you break down and they replace you with another. Grim I know but it’s the truth which brings me to my point, rest

It’s okay to rest 

The pressure to be productive all the time often means we forget to make time for self-care and often feel guilty when we rest. Like I mentioned earlier, the system will move on with or without you and will replace you without a second thought. We value staying after work, working long hours, working multiple jobs and THIS IS NOT NORMAL Please take care of yourself, take your time off and take your sick days and really look after you and your health care no matter how much you produce your physical and mental health should not take a back seat.

So when you find yourself with a moment of quiet, of solitude and rest, take it. Revel in it and use it as a time to appreciate the things that are going right or just to sleep, eat and watch Netflix if you must.

Productivity =\= Self-Worth

First, realize that there’s never enough productivity to fill the void of left by a lack of self-worth. There’s always more to accomplish and self-worth that comes from achievement is very temporary. It’s nice for a moment until the next list of things to do comes your way. It’s important to cultivate a sense of self outside of being “productive” you can do so by consciously scheduling more time for things you enjoy be it hanging out with friends, learning a new instrument, reading a book or just being. They are small things you can do to build your self-worth by just being you, by being a good friend, sibling or a good neighbour and finding a connection with yourself, your interests and other people.

Find a balance

It’s great to get things done, it feels good when you’ve accomplished the things that you’ve set out to do for the day and it also feels good to take time off. However, it’s important to find a balance that works for you. This can mean consciously setting time aside for self-care and setting hard boundaries such as not taking work home with you, setting an evening aside for reading or catching up on your favourite shows, trying to do something with friends once a week etc.