on being "productive enough"

okay, let’s take a moment and get real—we live in a capitalist hellscape and it’s made us hyper-focused on productivity and a global pandemic is probably a great time to shed that obsession… except, that’s not gonna work for all of us. some of us crave routine and structure; some of us have become the primary (or maybe only) breadwinners in our households due to the shelter-in-place orders moving across the country so we need to make it work.

so, then, what is being productive enough?

to me, being productive enough means that I’ve managed to check off a couple of things from my ever-growing to-do list so the day doesn’t feel like a waste. it means I’m dedicating at least part of my time to creating something—which, right now, is apparently blog posts and videos. it means that I have reached a point where I feel satisfied with what I have done but not burned out or super stressed… the world is scary enough right now without me heightening my own anxiety with deadlines and busy work.

okay, great, we’re on the same page. now how the hell am I doing that while the world’s on fire?

I’m not going to rehash advice for taking care of yourself instead of being super productive OR setting up routines and workflows to maximize your productivity as you work from home—people have been doing that for weeks now and they’ve all done a better job than I could. really, this post is for the people who don’t need to be super productive right now but do need some kind of structure.

here are my top three tips for staying sane and being productive enough to survive this madness:

  1. pick 1-2 priority tasks to complete each day. I pick one for work and one for my personal life—and I definitely complete more than one task a day, but when I’m flagging or feeling overwhelmed, whatever the day’s priority is takes precedence. you can see the thread with my goals on Twitter or just search for #ElleWFH.
  2. have a semi-consistent sleep schedule. I’m trying to keep it as close to my regular schedule as possible so I can have a smoother transition if/when we return to work—but also because I know that messing up my sleep cycle is a sure way to have everything go out of whack.
  3. take extra time/care with the things that matter. for me, that’s making sure to dress every day that I’m working from home—totally cool to wear comfy clothes but I have to be wearing outside clothes, not pajamas, or I won’t be productive at all—and taking extra time with my skincare or making meals. that way, I remind myself every day that it’s okay to pick myself and focus on what I want/need!

see more details in the video below, including a bit more info on why I’m writing about this—and see you next time!

my first-ever YouTube video… apologies in advance lol

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