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On Productivity in the time of #COVID19

An opinion piece

meditating

After reading the 10th post, email and newsletter in a row this morning– all of which were focused on being more productive, staying productive, doing more during this time, I snapped. Enough is enough. I have A LOT of feelings around this word we seem to love so much. WHAT. IS. UP, society?! Why do we feel the NEED to glorify “productivity” at all costs?! Don’t we see that there’s a pandemic going on and that people all around us are struggling to survive?! And yet, we are still posting about how to “get more work done.” Seriously, WTF?!

Personally, I HATE the word “productive.” Maybe it has to do with how much it HURT, yes, hurt to see posts about “doing more” or “making every minute count” when I was struggling with my mental health last year. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that I know I am not alone when I say, ENOUGH. Every day, I share stories on my personal Instagram to counteract the negative feelings that this constant pressure to perform causes, and every day, I hear from friends and strangers to “keep ‘em coming.” The feedback has been SO overwhelmingly positive – people everywhere are craving REAL. They are craving messy, gentleness, humanness. They are asking for PAUSE. For time to PLAY, to daydream, to paint, to reflect, to THINK. They want to “waste time” as our society would call it. And you know what, I FREAKING LOVE that. I LIVE for it. And I am HERE for it. Because not so long ago, I too, subscribed to this idea that we have to be productive at all times, and guess what, it left me fighting for my life. 

So here’s what I have to say about “productivity.”

With so many words in the English language, why do we choose to limit ourselves SO?? What happened to– creating, playing, dreaming, resting, writing, meditating, painting, imagining, singing, dancing, BEING. Everywhere I turn, I slam into a call to keep “pushing, scrambling, running at full speed; continuing old habits”–old freaking habits, that keep us enslaved to the rat race. WHY? Why are we so eager to keep living this dangerously? What is the OBSESSION?! We are NOT machines. We are HUMAN BEINGS. We need sleep, rest, play. We need to BE STILL. And BE KIND–to our hearts, our minds, our bodies, and our souls. We need to BE GENTLE with one another. We need to put ourselves and our communities, FIRST.  

So let’s create new habits– like catching the sunrise or sunset, admiring the birds chirping or squirrels playing, giving thanks for a new day, immersing ourselves in nature, dancing it out, stretching, staying in bed for a few more minutes, meditating, whatever it is– just be gentle with yourself. Let’s celebrate our collective humanity and the LOVE we all have inside of us– so much of it to give, so much to go around. Let’s change the conversation. And finally, let’s “let go” of this constant need to stay in control. We are not in control. If #COVID19 has taught us anything is that we are NOT. IN. CONTROL. No matter how much we schedule, plan, etc. we are not God. So, let’s stop acting like we are. 

One last thing–I am not here to knock hard work. Not at all. I recognize and fully acknowledge that we all have to make a living somehow and feed our families. But, let’s not idolize it either. Let’s not put it before ourselves or our collective wellbeing. We, humans, have SO much to give. What if we just come together now, once and for all, and just BE HUMAN. 

Because if not now, when? 

And if not us, who?

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