A synonym for productivity is output. What you can get out, from what you put in. 

I go absolutely crazy if I'm not productive, but I also go absolutely crazy when I'm doing too much. At one point, I went to a specialist for this. I thought I was having anxiety. Turned out, I just needed to find balance. A life long journey, that quest is. 

 To come to terms with my productivity battle, that I assume a lot of women have, I have devised a few strategies, that for the past six months or so, have kept me strategically sane. 
My first step was to (this sounds dramatic) accept myself. To know that not all people will understand my need to be productive, or my fear of doing too much and not enjoying life. Sometimes I do not understand it myself. 
For example, if I watch more than one episode of a show of a time, I think "that's two hours of my life I just wasted." But if I work a full 40 hour week, I am saddened by all the time I could have spent having fun with friends. 

When I was in an office working for someone, that's when I broke down. Part of my realization is that I don't do well on someone else's schedule. I work my best when I give myself my own deadlines. I think this is because I am hard on myself, and I simply get things done. I graduated high school in two years and college in three. Needless to say, I work ahead, but I can only do it if I am my own boss. Meaning, pressure? bring it. I can handle all the pressure in the world. But someone else pressing on me? I snap. 
I also discovered I am an independent worker. Team work is not my forte. I need to work on learning to trust and rely on co-workers, but because I feel like if I just do all the work, I can assure it gets done, I prefer working on my own. 

I need time constraints. A lot of my work is done from home now, on a computer. Where blogs, twitter, youtube....are easily accessible and tempting. But when I distract myself and spend time away from what I am supposed to be doing, I feel major stress. (Dramatic again) like I let myself down, and the productivity thing begins again. So to win that battle, I look at the clock and tell myself I need to be done with emails, in per say, one hour. That keeps me moving, and helps me balance a work load so I don't do a week's worth of work on Monday's. This is different everyday. Which is why I don't build myself a weekly schedule. I do it daily, because a week ahead looks like too much and can quickly become stressful and disappointing just to look at. But when I start my day, after breakfast and in view of sunlight, I know how much this day needs of me, and I get to it. I always give myself leisure time to browse blogs and quick but frequent breaks. It is key to stretch, breathe in some oxygen, and clear your mind. 

Another way I keep myself in check, if I have to be on the computer to answer an email, but I am working on writing something by hand, I sit in an uncomfortable spot while I use the computer, so I quickly get off it. 

And lastly, this I have not conquered. Give myself working hours. I am on a 24/7 schedule. Emails come in, I work on it. 1 am you can find me going. But there needs to be a shut off time. Lately, I have started to shut off right before I leave for crosffit. This way I let out all the steam through an intense sweat. If you deal with stress and a heavy work load, I have noticed exercise is so helpful. As is ice cream and shopping. Being productive today is a gift. 


  1. Great post! I think you and I are much alike in the way we push ourselves...you just say it much more eloquently than I have ever expressed it!

    I have worked from home for the past 24 years and the idea of ever having to go to an office on a regular basis scares the living crap out of me, which also keeps me highly motivated to stay on top of my game.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Long time reader, first time commenter - I hear you, 100%. This sounded so much like me it's unbelievable. I'm 17 and still in high school, but it is so hard for me to enjoy my life without stressing out about the stuff I could have been doing (summer classes, college applications, etc.) but I can't work too much otherwise I feel like I'm missing out! So this post really spoke to me, and I thank you for it.
    Ellie @ Serendipitous Whimsicality

  3. Excellent advice! Thanks for the post :)

  4. I also was not made for the 8 to 5, five day a week work schedule. I hate how much of my life it sucks up! But you're right that working independently requires a lot of self control. Balance is a very important thing--and when you find that sweet spot, you have to try to stay there! I know that that can be a challenge, though!

  5. I work from home too and definitely struggle with finding balance! I have recently found that I don't "work ahead" very well. I work faster, better and am more motivated when I do things a day or two before my deadline vs a week before. Since accepting this, my life has seemed SO much more manageable. I no longer stress about getting ahead and I allow myself to relax when my work is done for the day. If you don't mind me asking, what line of work do you do from home?

  6. Thanks for sharing Nicholl! I work in the same ways and it is a constant struggle to find the right balance. I'll definitely be trying to be more mindful and put a few of your tips to use!

    Chelsea & The City

  7. Great post! I enjoyed reading what you had to say. I get what you're saying on being hard on yourself and doing things yourself because that way you know it will get done. I completely understand.

  8. I too am working on productivity and setting time management goals for myself. This is refreshing to read as I do have some of the same qualities that you do in the workplace (esp working on someone else's schedule!). Thanks for sharing!

  9. #twinsies

    that's all i have to say. ;)

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