Yes, productivity is a good thing. There’s nothing wrong with getting stuff done. That is until we start obsessing with being productive. As moms, our focus on productivity can cause us more stress, more frustration, and lead us to feel worse about ourselves than if we didn’t focus on it at all. So let’s talk about three specific ways that productivity can hurt you.
We’re all used to wearing many different hats: wife, mom, employee, business owner, etc. We cope with these responsibili
ties by planning out our weeks and tracking everything that needs to get done. However, the problem begins when we confuse a meaningful life with getting stuff done. Let me share three areas where trying to be so productive can backfire.
Over-Scheduling Our Lives To Get More Done
The first problem with productivity comes from being overly focused on doing more that we over-fill our schedules. Have you ever found yourself saying, “Hmm… If I can check these three things off my list, then I can move this up here to this slot. Now I have thirty minutes free that I can add this in and get more done.” Does that sound familiar? I’ve been there; I’ve done that!
Granted, there might be days and maybe even weeks when we really need to focus on being productive. But being productive for the sake of being productive is overdoing it. We need to keep the end goal in mind. So when your plate gets full, it’s time to step back and ask yourself if you’re focusing so much on productivity because you like the feeling of significance that you get from being really busy.
There’s Always More We Could Do
Our obsession with productivity can easily lead to the second problem, gravitating toward tasks that don’t really matter. In an effort to feel like we’ve accomplished a lot, we can go hard after completing those easy to finish projects, the low-hanging fruit. The problem is that these tasks are often ones that don’t really help us get where we want to go in life.
Getting a dozen items checked off our list in one day might not matter in the end if they are not tasks that get us closer to our bigger goals in life. Whether they are personal goals or professional ones, we need to make sure to focus on doing projects or tasks that help us make progress, things that are important. Filling our time with activities that don’t really move the needle in our lives isn’t actually productive.
Productivity CAN Hurt You
The third reason that our obsession with productivity is hurting us is that it leads to burnout. We can get so focused on running around and getting things done, checking off those lists that we end up not taking care of ourselves.
Adding that new project, adding three new activities for the kids, rearranging this, crunching that into the schedule. If you find yourself doing these types of things in the name of productivity, you might be paying a really high cost. Is it costing you a sense of peace in your life? A sense of rest. Do you have so many things to do that you are neglecting to take time to rest and recover?
If we spend all our time rushing around feeling like we don’t have time to relax, we are on the fast track to burnout. We need to be intentional about how we commit to activities and about how we view the time we have in our day. Sure, it’s important to get things done, but if we do too much and burn out, then we might not get anything done!
Not scheduling time to rest in our lives is going to lead to struggle. It will be really hard to find a point in time where we’re thriving in our life. If we’re so busy running around doing all the things for the sake of being productive, we’re not living our lives. We’re just busy and burned out, and that’s a hard place to be.
An Intentional Way To Be Productive
Now I’m not saying to be lazy and not do anything at all. We need to think about how being productive fits in our lives. If productivity becomes the end goal, then it might be time to take a step back and rethink what we’re doing. We need to schedule our week with a bit of downtime and establish a rhythm we can sustain.
Don’t feel like being busy makes you a better person. It’s not a contest, nobody is keeping score to see if you’re busier than somebody else. We really need to be focusing on the people in our lives and how we’re interacting with them. We need to make time for the things that are really important to us, our goals, our families.
These are three big problems that I see with our current obsession with productivity. I’m sure this isn’t an exhaustive list, but these are the issues that I’ve seen in my own life and in the lives of other moms in my circles. If you’re in a place where you are finding life stressful, if you don’t feel like you have a good handle on productivity, then please sign up below to get my weekly planning sheet to help you prioritize your daily activities so that you can do the things that are important to you.