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Sometimes it’s Productive to NOT be Productive


Are you feeling pressure to “be productive” with things around the house while you’re spending more time at home? There are lots of posts and encouragement to tackle big projects during the new-found “downtime” everyone supposedly suddenly has on their hands or to “keep busy” to ward off boredom. 

Maybe you don’t have much, if any, “extra” time on your hands. Perhaps you’re processing this pandemic and all the changes it has brought and find you actually need LESS to “do” right now, not more. Maybe you’re home-schooling children while working part or full-time from home, as well. 

First and foremost (and not that you need it), we give you permission to just “be” when you need to. Focus on the fundamentals of your physical wellbeing, your mental wellness, taking care of yourself, your family and your required work.

Busy, versus productive

Doing projects around the house or extra things for work might not be a priority right now and that’s ok. Being “busy” does not equal being productive. Our definition of productivity is “achieving desired results” and right now your desired result might be to take care of the basics and preserve your energy for yourself and others. 

In addition to having stages of processing, and each stage requiring different things from us, we may have different levels of energy on any given day while we process. Some days you may need more rest. Some days you may only have the energy for what is non-negotiable in your work or life, and some days you may want to engage in something new, different or meaningful to lift your spirits and feel particularly accomplished or valuable. Honor your energy. Honor your needs. 

But when you have the energy, here are a few ideas!

For those days when you have the energy or desire for something else to do, we’ve created a list of shorter duration projects and activities, many of which can be done in under 30 minutes. These could provide a break from work and schooling and/or leave you feeling like you’re doing something to better yourself or your future situation. 

You could pick one on any given day, or if you do find that you have the time and motivation to work on a bigger project, combine any number of these for a project that may take a couple of hours, a half day, or even a full day. For example, all closet-related tasks could become a total clean-out and organization of the closet session if you have the time, energy and will. 

In this series of posts, today we will focus on improving or completing quick tasks around your home. As you’re spending more time there, you may be looking around noticing clutter, that things aren’t arranged in the way that you want, or may just be looking to streamline or make things easier or better.

Below are a number of relatively “quick hit” ideas for accomplishing some of that. Remember, you can combine several that logically can go together (or relate to the same space at home) if you have a longer chunk of time or the desire for more significant change at once. 

  • Dust/wipe down a room’s surfaces.
  • Clean out a junk drawer.
  • Throw out all those pens, markers, bottles of glue, etc. that don’t work
  • Organize a linen closet.
  • Clean out and organize laundry and cleaning supplies and household utility items (batteries, lightbulbs, etc.)
  • That cupboard under the kitchen sink… 
  • Clean out and organize a book shelf or cabinet.
  • Rearrange the décor or furniture of a room that you spend time in to “mix it up” or find a set up that feels the most comfortable, functional and effective for you. 
  • Create or update a chore chart, schedule or system for yourself and/or your kids/family.
  • Plan out your meals for a week.
  • Brainstorm and schedule future “home maintenance” tasks to complete throughout the year.

Want more clutter-clearing motivation?

Over the next week, we’ll be building on to this list to include specific spaces around your home, work-related organizational tasks that can help you to be more productive, self-care and personal development activities, and activities you can do to tap into your creative side or nurture others. 

If you’re looking for some additional clutter-clearing motivation, consider a membership in our “It’s About Time” virtual productivity program. During the month of April, we will be focusing on Minimalism, clearing clutter and organizing your physical space and stuff.

Note: the video associated with the Minimalism Challenge link, above, was recorded for last year’s challenge, which was held in May. We are excited to be starting the challenge this year today, April 1st, as it seems like the right time.

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