Blog Author: Prerna Gupta
Picture Source and Credits : Rebecca Mock
Ticking off those lists of tasks to do, or reaching the goal you'd set your mind to seem to be all that we have hovering around us, especially at a time like this when we've turned inwards mentally to reflect on life's every activity and action! Productivity is a buzz word – banana bread, cooking, fitness goals, art skills – all these come under the giant weighted blanket that the warmth of productivity brings together.
Even if you haven’t heard of the term “productivity guilt” or “productivity anxiety”, chances are you’ve felt it at some point during this ongoing dystopian nightmare that is the on-going pandemic. Open social media and you'll end up questioning yourself, comparing your actions against those managing to do more tasks than you or those who aren't moving much. Subconsciously, you find yourself thinking of evaluating your Netflix binging or the art skill learning on a scale of 1 to 10, or worse on how you've grown with respect to social media! Enter productivity anxiety.
Maybe the reason why the concept of productivity is hotly debated, especially at this time, is because there is really no one way to define or measure productivity. In this excellent interview, Productivity Coach Rose-Anne Uwague rightly says “What's most important is that we redefine productivity, engage in work life harmony and avoid social comparison. Activity is not productivity. Growth looks different for individuals, for some it may be spiritual growth, enlightenment and development, personal, professional or a combination.”
If you too have been struggling with productivity anxiety, here are some tools /ways to shift your perspective. Here at Ninegram HQ, we too have had a mix of good and bad days, and these are what have helped us !
Plan Your Day 🖋️
Reference &Credits : Pinterest
Planning is key to spending your time productively. That doesn’t mean you pack your entire day with tasks to accomplish; instead, pick a select few and focus on doing them well. Give them priority brownie points to assign importance!
When you sit down to plan your day, we encourage you to pick up a planner and pen instead of your phone. In our experience (and also scientifically proven), writing with pen and paper makes your brain more involved and makes you more mindful of the task at hand. Any planner (Ninegram’s planners are simple and fuss-free!) can help you plan and jot down your thoughts the way you’d like to.
Also, Katie Chappell’s free “Productivity for the easily distracted” guide is an excellent free resource to help you stick to your plan. And her cute illustrations are a cherry on the top!
Make Time for Rest 🌼
We cannot stress this enough – plan your downtime as religiously as you do your work meetings. Pandemic burnout is quite real with having to constantly be on guard so it’s important to give yourself some love and care. This could take many different forms – for some this might be a yoga and meditation session, for someone else it will be popcorn and a movie, or a longer sleep routine – anything that surrounds your mind with care and joy is what rest is for us! Recommending long cuddles if you have a woof partner!
Find Your Interests and Enjoy 🌿
Picture Source and Credits: Artern Design
It’s wonderful to have so many things in life which excite you, but to see meaningful growth, pick a few things and focus on them. Aim at having fun if you fail, one day you can have a green thumb and grow lovely greens, and someday to ace desserts like Nigella, and if not embrace the baking fails, the screw ups! We focus on the outcome so much that we forget to enjoy the process. Take some clay and have fun, instead of only focusing on the masterpiece! Grow into a child!
Picture Source and Credits : KristinaKikkik
Happy lovely things we've been enjoying:
From the world of baking: We love jugaad ideas and this cake bomb recipe by Shivesh Bhatia made in an appe pan is right up our alley!
Soulful reading: Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things is a gem we discovered during the lockdown. A collection of some of her Dear Sugar columns, this book will make you laugh and cry at the same time.
Skillshare sessions: There are tons of classes to explore on Skillshare but we’ve recently been enjoying Anne Butera’s simple and joyful watercolor classes – they’re easy to follow and great for beginners.
Explore the world of lettering with Harpreet: Her free resources are a fun and easy way to delve into the world of lettering.
Also, this playlist on Spotify is all the Italy & Spanish feels we need at our desk!
Embrace Your Imperfect Self
We all have days of not being our best that we would like to forget – days when we skip exercise, when we scroll through social media for a few hours or when all our meals have come from a packet. Instead of beating yourself up over such days, learn to take them in your stride and accept that you are bound to mess up sometimes. Call them fun days and move on. Learning the difference between lazy and tired – that’s the trick. Lazy deserves a push, tired deserves a nap!
It's a good trick to make your own list or a report card that backs you up when you’re feeling down and doesn't only point a finger when you're lazy. Just breathe a little more, push to do better but rest a little more too! Find joy and peace in whatever you do, at whatever pace you choose to do it!
We live by loving paper and stationery and recommend you to touch any pen to paper, we at Ninegram ensure that all our products give you joy whether it's a simple jot book, or planners or accessories like enamel pins that spark s smile. We encourage you to surround yourself with lovely stationery and a nice hot beverage of your choice and spend time with self!