Lovingly check-in with yourself, before checking-off your endless to do list.
We’ve arrived at a point in society where daily planners or schedules are not only an aesthetic, but a lifestyle. You’ve no-doubt participated in one form of scheduling or another - whether it’s using sticky notes, yearly planners, google calendars, or online apps - nobody can deny the satisfaction of crossing tasks off of a list. However, everyone has days when their personal to-dos seem daunting rather than manageable and fulfilling. We get wrapped up in what has to get done right away and are left feeling upset when boxes are left unchecked.
Some days you are on top of the world as you fly through tasks, while other days you stray towards procrastination and zoning out, resulting in guilt over your “inability” to be productive. Aiden Harper, creator of The European Work Week Shrinkage Campaign, mentions that this cycle “creates the assumption that the only value we have as human beings is our productivity capability - our ability to work, rather than our humanity.” Meaning that instead of focusing on our triumphs as humans, we get stuck on society’s dependence on productivity.
However, not everything you do has to fall under the categories of “productive” or “unproductive.”
The recent pandemic has had a huge impact on the way people view their time. It showed us the true power of rest. People started to re-evaluate their values, some changed career paths, other’s found inspiration and motivation from hobbies they never even knew existed. Now that the pace of “regular life” is picking back up, we want to help you avoid burnout and ease back into it.
Recognize when you need rest.
A notion that seems most obvious but is justifiably the hardest to accomplish. Signs that your body and mind need rest come across as procrastination, zoning out, stress over small things, no motivation, forgetfulness, or lack of sleep. The worst cycle that many of us enter into is feeling guilty for these signs and pushing ourselves harder to overcome them. Instead of feeling guilty, switch gears to make a mental note of the situation and proceed with some self-care throughout the remainder of your day.
Re-evaluate what you value.
The “hustle” culture is a term that has been evident through the decades but glamorized over the last few years. It promotes Aiden Harper’s previously mentioned theory that we value ourselves based on productivity rather than "human-ness". It refers to the cycle of overworking while keeping up the facade that you are LOVING every minute of it. Your motto is: you don’t stop if you are tired, you stop when you’re done. Whether or not your work reflects this, you may have days where life and work overlap and your mindset edges towards that motto. If you find yourself relating to this more than you would like; reset and re-evaluate. When was the last time you had lunch with friends? What was the last thing you did for YOU and your wellbeing? Personal growth, self-care, and time are just as important, and deeply beneficial to career growth.
Reward yourself now, not later.
While it’s good to set a reward as motivation after working towards a goal - make sure not to deprive yourself of moments when you need rest. You don’t need an excuse to take care of yourself, self care is NOT something you earn but something you deserve at any moment of the day.
Checking off work related boxes is relieving, but think of how rewarding it will feel when you check off boxes that involve taking care of yourself. Next time you find yourself feeling guilty of resting when you should be working, remind yourself of these 3 things and remember that everyone deserves to take a moment to themselves, to relax, to rest, and reset.
With Purpose, Love + Gratitude!