Why do we measure our value based on our level of productivity?
Have you ever observed that you feel particularly proud and content on your most productive days? Or that you can feel disappointed or unhappy if you haven't completed duties or met personal or professional goals? For many of us who link who we are with what we do, this is a typical occurrence. We live in a society that tends to place a premium on our achievements over nearly everything else.
Resting, imagining, reflecting, feeling, laughing, and connecting with ourselves and others are all part of living a multi-faceted existence. We also need to step out of productivity mode from time to time to deal with difficult emotions, low energy, bereavement, illness, and other unanticipated aspects of life.
There is also a notion that if we are not as productive as we should be, we should feel shame or guilt in some way. We fail to acknowledge, however, that our productivity isn't the only factor that determines our self-worth. We can't judge our self-worth or value by what we can or have accomplished. Our characteristics, as well as our core values, are all variables that contribute to who we are. We need to pay more attention to our inner traits and less to outward benchmarks. In fact, instead of focusing on the numerous things we have accomplished even if the smallest thing, we tend to focus on the downside and on things that we haven't been able to accomplish. We tend to measure our value and self-worth based on our level of productivity and this, in turn, has become the new normal. Such extreme standards have wired us to be in work mode 24/7 leaving us no time or being full of guilt for experiencing what we truly like which may have no link to our productivity. However, this becomes an issue if it causes us to experience unhealthy levels of stress and worry, particularly if we overburden ourselves with work and aspirations in an attempt to increase our self-worth.
Being productive is surely fulfilling, however, when you look at the big picture, many of the things we do daily aren't necessary for a happy and fulfilled existence. Taking your foot off the gas pedal might sometimes help you have a better understanding of the issue.
Unlike what most people believe, productivity isn't about getting as much done as possible and checking off every item on your to-do list. It's not simply about creating more when it comes to productivity. Instead, it's about concentrating and devoting time to the correct activities. There is a difference between wasting your valuable time and energy on a plethora of chores that aren't quite as necessary as completing a few jobs that are extremely important to you.
Excessive self-criticism and self-blame must be curtailed. Instead, one should embrace and appreciate their shortcomings. We are all imperfect in some way as humans. We all have distinguishing characteristics that set us apart from others. It's critical that we acknowledge and value them since they make us unique.
Being productive may be a wonderful and liberating experience. It's one of the keys to enjoying life on your terms. However, this isn't the endpoint. External accomplishments are less essential than your feeling of self-worth. One should instead, concentrate on developing a strong and unwavering feeling of self-worth, and the rest will come as a bonus.
Written by: Kashish Chandhok