It's OK to be less productive right now

At the beginning of stay at home orders, many of us found ample time on our hands to do things that we once wished we had more time to do. Reading more, watching movies, writing, organizing our house, working out more, mastering cooking… however even with wide-open schedules, why does it seem like our motivation is at an all time low? So at the beginning when we once were excited to spend a lot of time at home, how come we are feeling less and less motivated to do anything during this quarantine period? 

    As people are fearing the loss of their jobs and some even their lives, there is added pressure about staying focused and productive during this period. Each day we are flooded with advice on how to stay healthy, fit, achieve our goals… this overwhelming feeling makes it difficult to decide what the “best” thing to do is. Therefore, a lot of times, we don’t do any of it. Sometimes we ask ourselves, what will cleaning out the fridge, doing that yoga video, organizing your bathroom really accomplish? 

    We are used to working hard in something that may not be super desirable to see rewards from it; money, a trip, an experience… what’s so special about these is they don’t come often, and when they do we relax in the fact that we worked hard to receive them. Whereas some may have felt that matching movies all day, working from home, having all this time on our hands, would be a luxury, most of us have come to despise it. Watching movies all day isn’t that great if that’s the only option left at night. Working from home isn’t great when you can’t chat with any of your coworkers in person. For many of us, our mandatory schedule could be tiring, but it also kept us driven. We wanted to work hard so that we could reach that point where we plan even harder. 

    So the big question is… how do we stay productive? Well, Drew Millard in his article, “There’s no such thing as ‘productivity’ during a pandemic” published in The Outline says that, It’s not that none of this matters; it’s that what matters right now is staying sane and safe, and different people have different ways of achieving that, all of which are equally valid” (Millard, 2020). 

At the end of the day, nobody cares how productive your day was. What matters is making you feel sane. It’s completely normal to feel unmotivated and unproductive. Our futures are very uncertain and trying to make long-term goals may be simply impossible. Here’s what we can do: make small goals each day; don’t be pressured by the media to accomplish everything in one day; practice the art of gratitude; be content in the moment and lastly be thankful for what you have right now. 

As much negativity is surrounding our lives right now, focus on the good. Because the reality is, we can’t change anything and if we divide all of our attention on the doom and gloom, it will only lead to feeling more uneasy and hopeless. Let’s change our mindsets, think positively and stop thinking that productivity will lead to happiness.