We beat ourselves up for not being productive, or for not being productive enough. I should be doing this, I should be doing that, I should be doing something that’s not just what I’m doing –
and while yes, sometimes we could be doing something different or something more, there is an important note about productivity that we need to remind ourselves of, and that is that productivity is subjective.
What is productive for you, isn’t for another, and what isn’t productive for you, is for another, and so on. What’s more important than being generally ‘productive’ is knowing what you want, and how you’re going to achieve it – only then can you determine, for yourself, how to be productive, for yourself.
Applying oneself productively means something entirely different for everyone, and is oriented around what each individual wants to achieve. You yourself can decide what is productive for you, and what isn’t.
Before beating yourself up generally for not doing anything, letting yourself fall into a cycle of unproductive self-criticism, ask yourself what it is you really want – get clear on what it is you really want –
because it is only when you are clear on what it is you really want that you can decide for yourself how you’re going to achieve it, and therefore how to apply yourself productively, with the little steps you take everyday making the biggest difference in the long run.