Productivity is Overrated (IMHO)


Have you been too busy, too tired, too stressed and too overworked for too long? Are you killing yourself to get things done?

Ever wonder if there’s a better way?

Productivity is overrated. Yes, you read that right. I know I’ve been a big advocate of productivity – guilty as charged.

For some reason, I’ve been coaching a lot of perfectionists lately. (We teach what we are meant to learn). And what I’ve noticed is that sometimes, we push ourselves too hard, and often for the wrong reasons. We need to stop measuring ourselves by the things we get done and focus more on the value of who we are being.

Let’s take organizing our homes as an example. We get frustrated when we don’t accomplish all that we expect of ourselves – without analyzing how realistic our expectations might be. Instead of celebrating our accomplishments, we become frustrated that things aren’t moving fast enough and we get overwhelmed about how much more there is to do.

Organizing is not a destination; like achieving many of our goals, it’s a process.

Celebrate your progress instead of beating yourself up for what you haven’t achieved. You don’t have to wait for everything to get done before you can enjoy life.

Sometimes going outside to enjoy nature is more beneficial than cleaning your house.

Sometimes getting enough sleep is the most productive thing you can do.

We try not to be judgmental of others and yet we judge ourselves so harshly.

Here are 7 ways to replace self-doubt with self-acceptance.

  1. Don’t flog yourself for every failure. Forgive yourself. You are not perfect. And yet, you are perfect in your imperfection. Look at your mistakes as lessons; the more mistakes you make, the wiser you grow.
  2. Accept that flaws make us who we are. Embrace them. They’re what make us human.
  3. Silence your inner critic. When that voice inside your head tells you it’s not good enough, find a mantra to override it. I like to use “It’s good enough for now”. Choose what works for you – and use it.
  4. Stop seeking approval from others. You have no control over what others think. Be your own cheerleader.
  5. Eliminate (or at least reduce) the time you spend with toxic people. Surround yourself with those who champion you.
  6. Remember the good reviews. Instead of blaming yourself for all the things you are not, focus on your strengths. Make a list so you won’t forget them. Add to it every day. Review it often.
  7. Finally, remember that your performance doesn’t make you any more or less loveable to others, so it shouldn’t make you any less loveable to yourself.
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This post has 7 comments

  • Louise says:

    Oh boy! This advise couldn’t have come at a better time. I am THE WORST for beating myself up. Nothing I do is ever good enough for my inner critic and now is the time to stop and you have given me the tools to do it. Thanks Helen!

  • Elisa S. Lay says:

    I love this blog. Thanks for sharing, Helen. You are very wise.

  • Sandra says:

    I have spent the past month in a serious rut due to incredible work stress and have beat myself up over the mess my house has become as result of my only accomplishing making dinner and walking the dog and nothing else at the end of each day with no energy to do anything else.
    Thank you for these messages, I will print them and post them so that I can heed these wise words and suggestions.
    thank you!

  • Maureen says:

    This is a great message Helen! I like the point about not waiting for everything to be done before enjoying life. I could consume all my home time trying to keep up with housework – but then what kind of life would that be and what kind of experiences would I have to look back on. I try to set realistic goals at home. I spend much of late spring to early fall outside – either gardening or enjoying outdoor activities. So over the winter I work to catch up on the indoor chores. I am currently working on one room per month (mostly on weekends as weekday nights seem to be consumed with other chores and activities). From October to February, 5 rooms in my house will get a cleaning and decluttering overhaul.

  • Sylvie says:

    OK… this could not have come at a better time. I am currently working on self acceptance and self love. Seems like the more I work at it … the more I find moments when I have let the opposite override my thoughts… so now I plan to print your article and add it to my journal and revise it till I remember it by heart. I want to know this in my core so that when I need it most it comes to the surface. Thank you… for helping me better organize my thoughts 😉

  • Lorraine Joyce says:

    Dear Hellen,

    We’re always reading that we should replace self-doubt with self-acceptance. Yes, we agree; but how? Thank you for giving us this list of points. The ones that resonate the most with me are:

    1. The more mistakes you make, the wiser you grow (It makes me laugh and is a reminder to keep things in perspective).

    2. Make a list of your strengths so you won’t forget them. Add to it every day. Review it often. Right now my mind goes blank on strengths, but I bet I could come up with a list of my weaknesses in a flash!

    I periodically unsubscribe to newsletters that don’t have great meaning in my life as it is today, but I find that your newsletter never disappoints. Thanks again!