How to deal with the feeling that you have to do something productive all the time.

3 practical steps on how to unplug from the rat race

Running, running, running. Aren’t we?

Step 1. Awareness of the pressure factors.

The first step is to always understand what makes you run. Here are some of the most common pressure factors:

Social media.

You are watching Instagram and you see all those “successful” people in your feed.

Work.

We all have to do what we do. Tasks, meetings, paperwork. But when we finally have some time to take a breather we can’t stop our mind from thinking about work. We close our eyes and we see a to-do list. Nightmare.

Thinking about your age.

Time flies. And we are not getting any younger. There are so many things that you want to achieve, so many places that you want to see, so many things to experience. And it is a good thing that the thoughts about your own mortality fuel your productivity. Just be careful and don’t lose this precious present moment while chasing your dream. As long as you are alive and breathing, you have time. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Productivity hype.

Do not give in to the YouTube army of overachievers who try to upsell the idea of productivity. Yes, we must work hard and do our best, and yes, we must devise a strategy of life but at the same time, we must allow ourselves to learn how to be calm and inactive during the time when nothing is happening.

Parents.

Sometimes parents can push you to do things you don’t want to do. They love you and they have some expectations, but at the end of the day, they don’t know what it is like to be you, and all they want for you is to be happy.

Death.

Well, that’s my pressure factor. I am scared shitless by the alternative of spending a mediocre life and that’s the force that drives me. However, we will all die and this is the only thing we can all be certain in this life. But as one existentialist put it:

Step 2. Disillusionment.

The word “disillusionment” has a negative connotation in English, and I don’t understand why. I think the primary meaning of the word shouldn’t be “disappointment”, the primary meaning must be “the death of the illusion”. Waking up to the invalidity of your fallacies, what negative can be about that?

Step 3. Being productive in rest.

Unless you have decided to escape the matrix and live by your own rules somewhere in a hidden village of the Amazon forest you have to play by the rules of the society you are living in. And those rules state that within the matrix and being a part of it you will always be judged by your credentials.

  • Sleep. The best remedy for times of confusion.
  • Read books/Write.
  • Draw/play music.
  • Take a hot bath.
  • Meditate.

Conclusion

Understanding that you don’t have to be productive all the time truly comes up to these 3 elements:

  • Understanding that every pressure factor is merely a thought and you are in control of the response to the thought.
  • Amplifying productivity through restful activities.
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