To Me – On Productivity + Creativity

Dear me,

You need to slow down. You’re trying too hard – doing too much. Slow down, before you burn yourself out.

You’ve developed this thing, this habit, this really stupid way of thinking, that tells you that you constantly have to be doing things, to be achieving things, to be productive. And it’s not good. It’s really not.

You used to be a consumer of art. A watcher of visual content, a reader of books and of blog posts, a viewer of drawings, an audience of photos, a listener of music. A consumer of creative, positive art, that made you feel good and inspired you.

And then you started creating more, and that was fine. No – that was great. Creativity is awesome. Doing things is awesome. Acting in a way that results in something is awesome – productivity is a great thing, and it’s good that you started wanting to achieve it.

But lately? Lately, it’s got unhealthy. It’s become this mindset that you must be constantly acting, constantly creating, constantly achieving.

And that isn’t so bad, really. There are people in your life who are like that, and because of it they’re successful, and happy, and doing well. It’s much better to be constantly wanting to do things than it is to constantly be wanting to not do things.

But the thing is, you’re not doing it in a healthy way. You aren’t being like this because you have a load of stuff you want to do and are just itching to get on with it and create and do things and experiment and have fun.

And it isn’t what you’re telling people, either. It isn’t a case of post-exam boredom. It isn’t a case of ‘I had so much revision to do and I’m just not used to this spare time.’ You’re acting like you’ve just found yourself with time, and no schoolwork, or no deadlines. But that isn’t it. That isn’t all of it, at least.

You’ve found yourself with things you don’t like thinking about. You’ve found yourself changed from the person you were before you had all that revision to do. You’ve found yourself in a new place, and you’re struggling to deal with it.

Stop using productivity as a distraction. Stop trying to use creativity as an excuse not to think about things. About that thing, that collection of things, in particular.

Yes, it may be awful, and no, you don’t want to think about it more than you have to – but you’re making yourself resent the best parts of your life.

You turn to writing so you don’t turn to thinking, and then when the words don’t come, you get angry, at the thing that you’re trying to ignore, at the people involved, but mainly at yourself, for allowing you to think, and at the words for not coming. Writing is becoming an excuse, a time filler. But creativity can’t be that, won’t be that.

Stop ruining the things you enjoy in the name of avoiding other things. If you don’t want to think about it, go back to consuming art, because that does a much better job. And you’ve been neglecting it lately too. You’ve stopped consuming art, because you think it stops you from being productive.

And yeah, when you’re reading, you aren’t being productive. But you don’t need to be! That’s okay! You’re allowed to do nothing! To watch movies, and Youtube! To spend a whole day reading! To just read blog posts about travelling to Macedonia for hours! Do it! Do it, please!

You’ve fallen into this stupid mindset that says that any second you aren’t being productive is wasted! And it’s pointless! And dumb! And unhelpful! And it’s burning you out! It’s unrealistic for anyone, let alone someone as broken as you!

I don’t know quite where this stupid idea came from. Maybe it is to do with all the crap from recently, but maybe not. Maybe it was always going to happen to you the second you found yourself bored, and a little bit sad. Either way, it’s unhealthy, and it needs to stop, before you make yourself incapable of enjoying the things you’ve loved in the past, and before you forget how to confront your feelings.  This fixation on productivity has to die.

There’s nothing wrong with not being productive, because that is when you learn. That is when you discover, and that is when you enjoy.

Just, stop being an idiot. Allow yourself to not do things. I’m not saying procrastinate, cause that’s a bit dumb (even though I’ll always do it anyway). But you don’t always have things you have to be doing, and so you’re creating them, searching for them, and it’s pointless, and stupid, and you should just not.

I dunno. I’m lost too. But just like, pull yourself together.

As always, with love,

From,

Mima x

4 thoughts on “To Me – On Productivity + Creativity

  1. I agree with you so much! I find myself getting so excited about a project (this could be anything really) that I jump onto it full force and suddenly I put so much unnecessary pressure on myself. I totally know where this post is coming from, I’m glad someone else feels the same way 💕 great writing by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

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