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Quarantine Productivity: Do We Really Need To Stay Proactive During The Pandemic?

Tiredness, distractions, anxiety, anguish, insecurity, lack of motivation. These were some of the majority responses that 43 people gave when asked about what hinders them in their daily productivity.

Like them, I suppose you have also experienced at least one of these feelings over the quarantine period. Being at home 100% of the time and, consequently, spending more time with ourselves, some questions regarding our own behavior may come to the fore. One of them is productivity. 

Do we have to stay highly productive during quarantine? Do we need to redouble our daily production? What we're looking for with this? Today, we at Her Campus are going to talk a little bit more about it and - at least try - clarify these issues.

Guilt and self-charging

In a survey we disseminate on social networks, and which had the participation of 43 people, with ages ranging from 15 to 63 years, 47.6% stated themselves as productive, while 52.4% did not. When questioned about their productivity improvement, 88.1% answer that they need to increase their daily production, by contrast to 11.9%, who feel comfortable with their current productivity.

"I feel like I can't deliver my best", "I feel indebted to myself and to others around me", "I feel like I'm not being helpful enough”, some of the participants said when asked about the sadness that the feeling of unproductivity causes.

Blaming and pressuring yourself to be in constant production process, become common behaviors, even more so in this period of social isolation, which seems to "force" us to fulfill our daily commitments. "Unproductivity itself can be negative in some cases. That's when we get upset to see that other people are producing too much, and we're not producing.", explains Andrea Ladislau, PhD in psychoanalysis from Miesperanza University.

Even away from other individuals, we remain in a kind of constant competition, in which the search for a perfect productivity status is installed. Seeing the other producing and showing that you are producing more than me, bothers me, and even hurts my ego. Consequently, indirectly, I am putting pressure on myself to reach this stage of productivity, and to be able to show what I am doing as well. And if I can't reach this level, I blame myself.

The effects of quarantine

Social isolation brought activities that were not so common to be practiced indoors, such as working or even studying. "We're all learning to adapt to information updates, the fact that we can't leave our houses. But this charge and guilt that we end up imposing ourselves are certainly increasing people's anguish.", says Andrea.

The barriers, according to most of the research participants we elaborated, are external distractions, lack of motivation and organization, and, mainly, anxiety. Having to spend more time in contact with our own internal thoughts and emotions, lack of control and lack of ability to deal with these aspects can trigger generalized anxiety disorder.

"Anxiety disorder is when you can't understand your speed, and master your emotions, thereby recognizing your real needs, desires and failures," says the psychoanalyst. Self-knowledge then becomes a key piece to maintain serenity and mental well-being.

How to change?

scrabble signFor the psychoanalyst, the main change is not to feed this productivity neurosis and try to control the emotional, brushing all of the guilt and collections. Try to understand: Why am I charging myself? Why are you blaming me? Do I really have to do this right now? Can I do it another time? Why do I have to do this?

But in order to be able to take these attitudes, first one must recognize this behavior within you. And for that, Andrea explains that it is possible to perceive this when you understand when you are giving beyond what you can and your strengths. "When you arrive at the end of the day, you are no longer able to handle it and you are already out of energy to do something that gives you pleasure, such as playing with your child or watching a movie. That's because you can't take it anymore."

Essential measures to prevent the worsening of possible cases of anxiety. "When untreated, generalized anxiety disorder can, yes, lead to depression and, consequently, a panic disorder, which is a more aggressive line of anxiety disorder," explains the doctor.

To complete, Andrea recommends learning to listen to your own inner calling, doing things within your time. Remember that the pleasure in performing the tasks should be associated above all not with having to, but rather the reduction of a self-collection and doing it because it feels like doing it and because it is able to do it.

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This article was edited by Amanda Oestreich.

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