In January, companies will run ads using our society’s collective habit of making resolutions for the new year. HelloFresh and other meal-kit services promise to help you stay on a “healthy diet” this year. Home gym equipment companies, Bowflex and Peloton, ramp up their marketing. Restaurants like TGI Fridays go the edgy, subversive route of literally saying “F*** Resolutions”, mimicking what most of us will be saying come February.
New year, new me. We all pretend that the clock striking midnight has the magical effect of making us healthier versions of ourselves. For a few weeks or months, it does. Gyms are full. Schedules are organized. We throw our addictions and vices out with the trash, and we laugh at the power they once had over us. We make our smoothies like we are blending magic potions in the morning, and we drink our coffee without sugar. We lug water bottles instead of soda cans.
We also pretend that we’re better versions of ourselves. We make vision boards and post goals all over our walls. We meditate for ten minutes and tell everyone who will listen about our zen. We call our parents with heartfelt promises to be more in touch. We skype our friends and visit our grandparents. We forgive slights and forget grudges.
At no time do our resolutions demand us to put in the work. We may think they’re hard, but we’ve all got a fail-safe built in. After January, society agrees that we all just won’t talk about what we promised when we were high off the new year.
I like resolutions. They scare me, but I do like them. I admire their meaning and any symbolic victory they give you. However, there are people who pretend every day is January 1: Productivity Gurus.
I don’t like productivity gurus.
First of all, guru? In Hinduism, a guru is a spiritual teacher. Really? It’s like calling yourself a Self Improvement Priest. Second, their tips and tricks seem destined only for a particular crowd whose lives look and operate like theirs.
For a few years, I devoured productivity tips and tricks like they were the holy grail. They are inspirational, motivational, and exhausting as hell. Their article titles always seem to have the effect of guilt trip click-bait. Seriously, how many of these have you read before?
One Thing You Need To Stop Doing…………
Five Tips To Boost Your Productivity!
Morning Habits/Routines of The Most Successful People Ever
8 Ways You Are Hindering Your Productivity
How To Get A(n impossible) Day’s Worth of Work Done in Three Hours
Don’t elevate productivity the way society elevates consumerism. I agree with slowing down our unnecessary consumption, but “unnecessary” changes from person to person, circumstance to circumstance.
Some of us are natural creators. If that’s you, nurture that gift: whether it be music, writing, baking, etc…. Use every opportunity you can to create over and over until you’re satisfied. Just don’t beat yourself up because you’re not creating every second of every day. Take moments to just be inspired and awed. Not doing that leads to writer’s block and the hipster guy who think he’s better than everyone else because he can play three guitar chords. Don’t be a snob. Don’t be that guy.
On the other hand, enjoyment comes more naturally to some of us. That’s cool. Don’t worry that you’re not creating things. Give us our cups of tea and pints of beer, home-made bread, and let us watch Star Wars/read Pride and Prejudice/listen to live jazz in peace. Creating is not the only way to contribute.
Don’t stress and exhaust yourself chasing productivity.
Hope you enjoy your January!