We live in a society where being overly productive is placed on a pedestal. Some people struggle to keep up with the Joneses and end up on the hamster wheel of productivity guilt. But, let’s be real, who wants to live on the hamster wheel?
What if you didn’t have to feel pressured by society to do more? What if you could wake up every morning and shed that productivity guilt you constantly have in the back of your mind? At OBK & Co, we want to help you shift your mindset and see the importance of an organized headspace (and home space).
At OBK & Co, we talk a lot about organized spaces, but we believe an organized mind is equally important to your well-being. Being organized means you impose order on your environment and how you interact with it. Having an organized mind means you must be able to get your brain to a state of calmness by sifting out distractions, interruptions, fatigue, and stress.
To be the best version of yourself, you should be able to feel in control of your mind, body, and environment. If you lose control of one or more of these, sometimes stress and anxiety settle in. This can cause a disconnect in the ability to be productive. Enter productivity guilt.
Productivity guilt is also known as time anxiety. Time anxiety is the idea that every second of our time is precious, so we need to make every moment count. We. Cannot. Waste. A. Single. Second. Have you ever considered the pressure that puts on a person?
What happens when people fall into the productivity guilt trap? They fill their days with tasks, activities, and to-do lists that make them feel productive. They live in a sense of urgency that taxes their physical and mental health.
Living this way can lead to overcommitting, overwhelm, and eventually chronic stress, which can appear as
Physical symptoms, such as stomach aches or pains
So how do we battle productivity guilt? If you struggle with productivity guilt, try stepping away from the pressure to be productive. Find your balance between your mental health and productivity.
Are you ready to leave productivity guilt in the dust? Our team at OBK & Co is here to remind you that there is more to life than being productive. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as decluttering your kitchen or organizing your Denver, CO home.
We have pulled together some of our favorite productivity mantras to help you shift your mindset to create a healthier vision for your life.
No one is productive all the time (lazy Sundays are some of the best days you will ever have).
There is more to life than work (even if the 9-5 life works for you, you need to see what else exists in the hours between 5-9).
It is okay to do things at your own pace (life is NOT a race to some invisible finish line).
Done is better than perfect (the best things in life take a LOT of practice to get right).
Rest + recharging are necessary (pause your plans and find happiness in slowing down).
Celebrate the small wins (like finally putting away all the clean laundry).
Remember, time spent finding your inner peace is time spent well. Some studies show that taking a break to reset and recharge actually leads to HIGHER productivity. Breaks help increase our productivity and creativity by giving our brains a moment to replenish mental resources and intentionally engage our lifestyles.
When we set out to do more than what is healthy for us, we set ourselves up to fail. You can only accomplish so much in 24 hours or a seven-day week. Be okay with that.
Many of the faces and influencers people follow daily on social media implant this FOMO (fear of missing out) if we are not being productive 24/7. These influencers paint a picture that being on the go and doing all the things is “normal” and that if you are not trying to be superhuman, what are you even accomplishing? That mindset needs to be scrapped.
Trust us, this thought process will only lead to overwhelm, mental disorganization, and negative impacts on your wellness.
Your mental health needs you to realize where that mark is that you can hit without going over.
Maybe your daily to-do list has only five items, and you are tapped out for the day after that. A list with five things is better than one with zero. When you check off those five things, it means you did something with your time and still gave yourself breathing room.
Maybe you can handle juggling two activities for the kids in one day, but not three. Maybe your vacation looks like relaxing on a beach and not checking off a bucket list of activity after activity. Simplifying things is okay because you permit yourself to be as productive as you need to be, no more and no less.
Find your productivity max and stick to it. You’ll find that mentally and physically, you will be much happier and healthier.
Some tools are beneficial for prioritizing and productivity, similar to containers helping organize your physical space. Some options for prioritizing your to-do list may include:
Paper and pencil
Notes on your device
Creating a hierarchy system
Color coding or numerical system
Task management system/app
At OBK & Co, we have started using Click Up to manage tasks and prioritize them. We love that this tool is customizable to the individual and the team. There is a list view and calendar view so we can see that tasks are spread out over a reasonable amount of time, which helps decrease the overwhelm and increase productivity.
Another tool we use is Steven Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The first strategy mentioned in Covey's book is, to begin with the end in mind. When our team looks over tasks, lists, and priorities, we know the importance of keeping the end goal in mind. When we begin with the vision of the end in mind, it often helps set priorities that align with true desires, whatever they are.
When task lists and goals do not align with inner desires stress is inevitable. This is where mindset becomes necessary to the overall picture and requires us to be honest with ourselves about what we want and how we will attain it. There is this myth of work-life balance that is an unfortunate mirage. Yes, it is possible to have a home life and a work life. However, maintaining a complete balance between them is unrealistic for most people. Getting clear on what you want or need with “the end in mind” gives you the grace to work hard, play hard or relax well.
The SPACE model we use to organize physical spaces can also be implemented for productivity and mindset. We have adapted the original physical model (Sort, Purge, Assign a Home, Containerize and Equalize) to a mental model, which promotes productivity.
Sort: Brain-dump all of the things on your mental to-do list. There is no order, reason or rhyme to it. The goal is to simply get it all down.
Prioritize: Mindset is an important piece of the puzzle here. You need to determine priorities from your previous brain dump. Decide what on your mental to-do list can be done, deleted or delegated.
Action: Take action and remember, progress over perfection. Occasionally, in the process of prioritizing and ordering our lists, a type of paralysis can set in. If this happens, I recommend starting with the easiest tasks. Just take action to get something completed so you get the endorphins of accomplishment and feel prepared to take on more tasks.
Saving your energy is just as important as taking action, so make sure not to go crazy on the small tasks. Conserving that energy for what is top-of-the-list is important.
Celebrate: Celebrate your accomplishments. Did you do something you have been putting off for days, weeks, or months? Did you accomplish something important that has you taking a mental breather? Celebrate! Taking a moment to acknowledge even the smallest victories will help you feel empowered to accomplish more. It will also help you feel that rest and relaxation have been earned.
Evaluate: Every now and then step back and evaluate your productivity. Are you headed in the right direction? Are you getting the results you want? Are you working towards the goal(s) you had in mind?
We don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. We definitely don’t want you having productivity guilt over the lack of organization in your home. Mentally, organizing your space(s) can be exhausting and overwhelming. When you already have too much on your plate or are creating longer and longer to-do lists, organizing your physical environment can easily get shoved to the bottom of the list.
However, an organized home leads to better living and allows you to be as productive as you need in other areas of your life. Home organization also allows you to slow down and enjoy the simple things because life is not always about what you are doing. Life is also about living.
Do you need help making time and space for what matters most to you? Professional home organizing can make a world of difference. Our team helps you achieve home organization aligned with your vision and unique life goals.
If you are ready to start living a better, more organized life, reach out to OBK & CO today.
Originally posted JUNE 22, 2022