Are You Addicted to Being Productive?

self esteem self worth Apr 26, 2019

If you’re anything like me, you love to hate your to-do list. There are moments it feels like you’ll never get it all done but it feels so great to check things off the list. But then pretty soon you find yourself so addicted to the high of checking things off the list that you start feeling awful when life happens and you still have things left on the list at the end of the day.

You’ve been there too, right?

Let’s face it--when we accomplish something good, we feel good. It’s a bonus that people start noticing that we’re super productive and give us lots of positive feedback. Your boss starts to notice your hard work. Your friends notice that you managed to make cupcakes for your child’s birthday, chaperone their field trip, and manage to lose five pounds on your new diet.

But what are you sacrificing in the process?

Eventually, you enter a bottomless pit where you’re always looking to accomplish more and more in order to feel important and fulfilled. The first step to crawling out is to gain more awareness about what you could do with your time if you allowed yourself to be okay with who you are in this moment.

Here are 3 ways to get off the accomplishment hamster wheel:

1. Practice owning who you are every day.

So much of how we think about ourselves is wrapped up in the automatic voice in our minds telling us we’re not good enough. When your Inner Critic is left to her own devices, she can wreak havoc on your self-worth. The good news is that with practice you can build up your self-esteem to gain more clarity about what you really want. Repeating positive affirmations is a great way to build this muscle each day.

 

2. Get clear on your goals.

For so many of the clients I’ve worked with over the last 20 years, their goals were really ways to fix what they perceived was wrong with them. The problem is that these goals are stemming from your Inner Critic’s beliefs--not what you authentically believe is true. When you step away from the “quick fix” goals, you’re able to find clarity on what really matters to you. A great way to do this is to create a vision board you look at every day or notes to yourself that you’ll see every day.

 

3. Be intentional and kind to yourself.

Instead of creating a massive to-do list, work to identify the top 2 things you’re committed to doing each day and arrange your schedule to make sure they happen. When you feel the urge to add more things to this list, ask yourself what’s behind that thought. Is this something your Inner Critic is trying to perfect, fix or control? Or will checking something off the list truly give you the energy to focus on the more important commitments of the day?

 

Breaking the addiction to being productive is a marathon not a sprint! It takes awareness, practice, and commitment. But when we learn what’s truly behind our desire to “do it all”, we can be more present for the things that really matter to us.  

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