Productivity isn’t always easy for me, especially when I’m in a loud or disruptive environment. This is one of the reasons why I don’t thrive in offices—there’s just too much going on and I get distracted very easily. I need to be able to sit in silence, put my head down, and get work done. Unfortunately, that isn’t always my situation and I often find myself succumbing to distractions that are preventing me from achieving everything I want to. For today’s post I wanted to talk a bit about why it’s sometimes hard for me to be as productive as I would like to and what might be a good solution for anyone else that is struggling with this too.
Social media is probably my biggest weakness. This includes Youtube and Netflix—anything that can lure me into a few hours of watching things that I definitely didn’t need to watch. I guess that’s how developers design these platforms, but boy do I hate how much time I get sucked into wasting because of them. I will mindlessly scroll through Instagram or watch videos that have no relation to my life whatsoever before I realize I’ve wasted an hour that I could have spend doing something more productive.
This habit is hard to break because these platforms are so ingrained in the jobs and lifestyles of digital freelancers, like myself. You need your internet connection on at all times and often have to go on Youtube or Instagram for research. There’s no way to really disconnect from them, which then makes it easier to procrastinate and be distracted. You need them for work, but they also prevent you from doing your work. How ironic?
Not Seeing The Big Picture
I often get stuck in the headspace of the here-and-now, meaning that I can’t step back from what’s happening in the moment to realize what the next few months or year will look like. If I’m doing a task that is menial or not exactly aligned with my true interests, I tend to dread doing it, which often leads to avoiding it. On the one hand, I like that I am able to be in the moment and take things day-by-day, on the other it makes it incredibly hard to run and plan for a successful business because the early months often involve trudging through tasks that might not feel congruent to my ultimate goals. In order to combat this, I have been trying my best to remind myself of the bigger picture and recognize that anything I’m doing now that might not feel quite right is building a foundation that will help me grow in the future.
And the ultimate reason why I just can’t seem to get everything I want to done is my anxiety. It prevents me from looking on the bright side or seeing a light at the end of a long tunnel. Dread often overwhelms me when I’m working on something for a period of time and that little critic’s voice inside my head is always telling me to quit, that I’m not good enough, that I will never achieve what I want to. It’s a constant battle dealing with this voice and there are times where I just can’t tune it out. The best way I’ve been handling it is by talking these emotions out with my therapist whenever they crop up and journaling about them so that I can get a clearer picture of where they might be coming from. I know that my anxiety will never just up and leave one day, but I’m constantly putting in the work that’s necessary to support myself when I do feel that dread coming on.
How do you deal with a lack of productivity?