In a world of do more and do it faster, we’ve got to have a balance.
Staring outside of the window for 5 minutes might not feel like it’s productive.
Browsing online might feel like a waste of time.
Is that because it’s true? Or because they’re standards we’ve set for ourselves that no one else is paying attention to?
Do we evaluate ourselves more harshly than the person next to us?
- If we take a break it’s a waste of time, but if our neighbor takes a break it’s because they’re been working really hard on getting a project done?
Or do we evaluate others more harshly than we evaluate ourselves?
- If our neighbor takes a break it’s because they’re lazy, but if we take a break it’s because we’ve been crushing it 24/7?
Two questions might help us get over the mental block of measuring self productivity.
- Did we set out for what we mean to do?
- Did we find something surprising that helped us find an adjacent and better goal?
We can mean to spend two hours watching tv in the evening. And we’ll feel better about it if that’s what we meant to do.
But if we sit down after a day of work turn on the tv, and then look at the clock and two hours have passed, we might not feel great about it.
And a few things that will help us get the goal we’ve set out to achieve?
- Deadlines – timeframe
- Tools – physical or digital
- Collaboration – someone with a specialty that’s different than yours
- Rest – time between projects to recover, reflect, and refine.