Productivity Anxiety: Are we doing too much?

As I sit down to my laptop, I’ve intended to watch a really beautifully done training video designed to help me master a hip, new task management system. I’m elated. Organization and productivity tools are my drug of choice; I geek out on To Do list printable and daily goal-setting manifestos.  

However, also as I sit, I’m reminded of the enormous pile of laundry parked only a few feet away. I also have my trusty paper planner (sorry - I just can’t go digital) stuffed with neon flags of sticky notes flipping between every page. Should I watch the video? Or start the laundry instead? Or is there something on my planner I’ve forgotten? I compulsively check.

There’s always something.

Task management tools and productivity courses are definitely advantages of living in this decade. We have more resources for organizing and power for achieving goals in the palms of our hands than women for centuries before us, and yet we still struggle to keep up. Am I the only one?

Can I take a moment to just state the obvious: It’s not the task management apps that need to improve, it’s our lives. When will we hold off for a second and say, “Whoa, girl, the issue is that you’ve got too much.” It’s not about getting organized, it’s about being realistic about our demands.

A few decades ago, a woman with moxie worked a full-time job while also maintaining a family household. She was praised for it and felt fulfilled, purposeful. However, insanity slowly crept in.

 

 

The 2017 mom needs to not only work an outside job, but it also has to be relevant and creative and fulfilling to her calling. In her free time she needs to take this or that “Challenge” of the week, or squeeze in a fat-blasting workout. All the while she feels she must be in constant task management mode planning a 6 year old’s birthday party that would rival Colin Cowie’s parties for Oprah.

It’s all just too much.

I urge you to take a moment and slow the heck down. Consider what you’ve placed on your list as “urgent” and ask yourself if the descriptor is overused in your life. It certainly is in mine.  

So now, I practice what I preach. I’m going to take a break for an Oreo dunked in a glass of milk. I won’t disregard my planner entirely, but I vow to take a look over it an decide what really isn’t worth doing. I vow not to feel ashamed that we give up ballet, or say no to one of the endless birthday invitations, or eat fast food because I couldn’t make it to the grocery store before work.  

Let it be.


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