Many of us are living with an abundance of time right now. Our daily commute, chats at the water fountain/ cafe, and distractions that were present in our normal routines are now absent. Whilst there are also many things at home vying for our attention, I have seen a lot of space open up for other things.
For example, I have spent a lot more time walking which I have enjoyed immensely. Yet there seems to be this pressure to spend our time “productively”.
My social media has been littered with messages telling us to use this time effectively:
“If there’s ever going to be a time to launch your side hustle/ start that project you’ve been thinking about/ read all those books on your list, now is the time!”
Of course, there is an element of truth to this. We do have more time and space to work on things usually outside of our focus. The things that we told ourselves we would get to ‘if we had the time’.
But I have found that I definitely have not been as productive as I “should” be. There have been spurts of creative output and deep work, followed closely by procrastination, distraction and down time. Then I feel guilty for not getting things done.
I came across this diagram in a weekly email from the Gamestorming Team, which sums up this situation pretty accurately:
We will move through this loop at different speeds, with varying levels of enthusiasm. We will work on a project that fires us up until we hit a point of exhaustion and frustration.
But here’s the thing: wherever we are in this loop, it’s ok. All we need to do is keep moving.
These are unusual times. So be kind to yourself and give yourself the time and space to move through the loop.
Ride the highs and be productive. Work on those projects you have been meaning to start. And get through the lows by leaning on your allies and using strategies that tap into your mental resources (resilience, optimism, hope etc.).
Be productive when you can and thrive when you have the capacity.
For the rest, survival is enough.