A personal journey of trying to make a living online while wrestling with life.

Productivity Isn't Just About Work Output

Mental health breaks are just as productive as building and shipping products

You know that gnawing feeling that eats away at you when you sit idly, not accomplishing something? You gotta let that shit go.

Productivity is the kind of thing you have to look at sideways. If you stare it down and put pressure on it, it shrivels up. That's what I did for years.

Any minute spent not doing something traditionally productive was a minute wasted. When I tried to relax, the voice in the back of my mind told me I was being useless, that I was a good-for-nothing lazy bum.

Watching the Twitter ticker only served to double down on my suspicions. It seemed that everyone was grinding on Sunday afternoon, everyone was growing their MRR while they slept.

I kept pushing harder and the self-talk got nastier until something imploded. I think what happened to me is what they call burnout.

There was a bridge between then and where I am now which was not fun to cross. It was filled with anxiety and feelings of failure. But, the other side is much sweeter.

It's the side where reading a good fiction book purely for entertainment purposes in the middle of a weekday afternoon is productive in the sense that it nourishes my creative mind.

It's the side where taking an entire Sunday off just to be with my family is productive in the sense that it nurtures my most important relationships.

It's the side where going for a 1 hour walk in the park Monday morning is productive in the sense that it renews my connection to nature.

We are 3-dimensional beings, with so many facets that need nourishment. We are not product-building-and-shipping machines. In order to remain productive on that front which we usually associate with "being productive", all other fronts need to be well-cared for and fulfilled.

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