Productivity ≠ Worth: How To Get out of The Trap of Busyness

Uncategorized May 05, 2023

The thing I hear from EVERYBODY I talk to is

  • I'm swamped.
  • My agenda is full to the brim.
  • I have xx meetings a day (yes, double digits more often than not).
  • I got xxx emails in my inbox to read.
  • Ehmm, I got a slot free in 3 weeks….

…you name it - basically, all that shouts busy, busy, busy.

A leader(ess) with kids told me the other day: "Well when I fall on the sofa in the evening, I feel that I've earned my rest."

Your productivity does not reflect your value

I used to be like that. 

And yes, as a single mother with a full-time job and a household to run, I had TONS of things to do, and the struggle was real. 

I also thought that the busier I was, the more important I was.

And on top, I believed that PRODUCTIVITY = MY VALUE.

There is nothing wrong with being productive. 

I love it, and I feel accomplished when I've finished a task - done a coaching session, written a blog, cleaned a flower bed in my garden, cleaned my kitchen. 

The problem started with how I felt when I did not accomplish anything - or even just hung around, did nothing (on a "workday") or felt like I wasted time not doing what I thought had to be done.

I felt guilty. 

Not valuable.

Even jumped up when I felt caught out doing nothing!

Beliefs are imprinted early in life

One of these patterns that tend to creep in at a young age. 

I remember vividly living in a house, and stuff that had to go upstairs was often parked on the stairs. The thing that I can still hear in my head is: 

"Never go upstairs with empty hands".

Nothing wrong with it per se.

And btw. I don't blame my parents for anything ;-). 

It taught me efficiency - incredibly useful.

It also taught me that I'm only appreciated and valuable when I'm productive, busy and achieve something. 

A very common belief that's being perpetrated in our society daily. 

"She's made it" never means that she's happy, relaxed or joyful. It means financial achievement, career success. 

Totally fine - unless it comes at the price of exhaustion, "functioning" instead of joyfully thriving and permanently rushing and having no time for yourself or relatinships or simply flowing through some hours with no plan. 

6 Ways of creating more time...and feeling good 

I don't know about you - I eventually had enough of hustling and permanently stuffing more into my day. 

Here's what helps me:

  1. I realized that the belief "productivity = my worth/value" is BS and shifted it to "I am worthy". Full stop. 
  2. I defined how I'd like to work and play and what's important to me. Not just things - but how I want to feel - THAT gives me the chance to prioritize when things get crazy.  
  3.  Oh - and to say "no" far more often than I used to. 
  4.  I slowed the f*ck down. Funnily enough, I still get lots done, but I feel MUCH better. 
  5. I give myself permission to have phases of doing nothing, listening to my body and my soul, what they need and following the lead as much as possible.
  6. I keep my agenda light. So that I can breathe, re-calibrate and react to unforeseen stuff or explore an idea which shows up. 

Let's celebrate taking care of ourselves in the same way as our achievements. And even if everything goes wrong - you're still valuable. So am I. :-)


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