As a person who struggles with wanting to be productive and efficient as much as possible (definitely a form of perfectionism!), it’s important for me to have reframes and ideas that help me stay grounded and present and feeling good about myself, even when I’m not “getting things done”.
One of these reframes, which came to me this morning is, “Even your distractions are productive.” As an example, over the last couple of days I’ve been on a YouTube spree, watching almost all of these home design videos, getting caught up on the videos in this incredible website branding series, and exploring this new-to-me channel for entrepreneurs & coaches.
On today’s episode of the podcast, I’m talking about noticing what your behaviour is trying to tell you, what message it might be trying to send you from outside of your conscious awareness. And in the case of these “distractions”, maybe my behaviour (watching a lot of videos) was trying to tell me a few different things. Clearly, I needed a break from super-heavy brain processing work, a hit of some professional development, and a big dose of inspiration.
Instead of thinking about these behaviours as distractions that belie my lack of self-control or willpower, I can instead choose to see them as important factors in my wellbeing & success. Taking a break, learning new things, and being inspired are all very productive things for me to do! So I don’t need to beat myself up or feel badly about the choice to watch something that’s interesting to me.
I was trying to think of examples where this might not be true, but short of obsessively playing Candy Crush for hours, I’m not coming up with many. Daydreaming is productive. Cleaning your house because you don’t want to write is productive. Going out for coffee with a friend is productive.
I know that being productive is NOT the goal of life, but if this reframe will help me move towards more compassion for myself and less stringency about how I spend my days, I’ll take it.