“The Modern Obsession with Productivity” by Bloomy Lerngutai

Kassiopia (Bloomy) Lerngutai

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Hey guys! Welcome back to my channel. My name is Bloomy and this is my daily routine at home in quarantine! So I usually wake up at 5:30 and I never push the snooze button because that’s just a waste of time! I get ready, change into my workout clothes, make myself a nice warm cup of green tea to increase your metabolism and awaken your brain, so you feel fresh and ready to work for the rest of the day. Then I go on my morning run from 6 am to 7 am. I wake up extremely early for this to start my day off right. If you start off your day productively, then you will be productive for the rest of the day! Then I take a shower, do my ten step skincare routine, and I don’t even have to waste my time choosing my clothes because I only own white t-shirts and jeans to decrease decision fatigue, just like our well known productivity mentor and role model, Mark Zuckerburg! Then I get my laptop and start working on my novel and then piano and also my company, did I mention I’m also a self made entrepreneur? Also can’t forget about making my own healthy keto paleo vegan dinner because I never order out, don’t wanna trash your body! Remember to also do a three hour meditation to align your chakras before you go to bed …

Yadda, yadda, yadda. I’m sure you have watched these kinds of YouTube videos before, and they’re not the only kind of media out there that is perpetrating the common belief that the more productive the better. If you believe me, just walk into the self improvement section of any bookstore. “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, “The Power of Habit”, “Essentialism”, the list goes on. Just type “how to be productive” into Google and you’ll get countless self help guides by self proclaimed “gurus”. Suddenly, everyone is considering dressing like Mark Zuckerberg in hopes of being the next big thing in Silicon Valley, and signing up for apps like Blinkist that summarize books for you so you can read more books in shorter amounts of time since “CEOs read 60 books a year.” We suddenly feel like we always need to “grind” and “hustle” and be a “girl boss” or an “alpha male.” Why is this? Why are we so obsessed with productivity? Just sit and think about the answer to that question. You might have an answer straight away. Because it’s good. Because we should get more work done. Because we must be efficient. Use your time wisely. Be a better person. All of these answers are perfectly acceptable, except they’re just now direct answers. Why is being productive good? Why should we get more work done and be efficient? Why is it important to use your time wisely and strive to be better if it doesn’t make us happy? We bury our heads into books and listen to these audio books and commencement speeches and we find ways to balance every part of our life to make sure that no second is wasted, but we don’t even know why? What is the end goal here? Is there even an end goal? Or are we just going to work ourselves like machines and never become satisfied?

Before you argue with me, let me just take this chance to tell you that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be productive, but there is always a perfect balance between things. Quarantine has kept all of us inside, which means no tutors to scream at us to study or coaches to urge us to go harder at our workouts. For the first time in probably ages, we are suddenly being held accountable for our actions. If we’re not productive, then we blame it on ourselves. If we are, we are proud of ourselves. Except there is nothing wrong with not being productive. This shouldn’t be a moment of guilt where you feel like you have to get all your personal essays done for college applications plus practice your sport and don’t forget to work on your five year life plan. I’m going to take this chance to tell you that it’s okay to not be productive. When was the last time you just sat in silence, not thinking about anything or making a mental to do list or stressing about the piles of homework on your desk? When was the last time you ate a meal and truly tasted it, not with a phone in your hand? Life isn’t a productivity competition and no one should feel obligated to do something every second of every day. So sit up, go get yourself a cup of tea, and just sit and breathe.