If You Haven't Been Productive Today

I've been productive this entire week.  In the late evening hours, I've folded laundry and emptied the dishwasher when I rather would have gone to bed.  I've tamed the beast of my email inbox.  I've graded essays and speeches like it was my job, which is useful because it is my job.  Essentially, for four straight days I've been a medalist in the To-Do List Olympics, a machine, a girl on fire.

Then I reached today.  It's four o'clock in the afternoon, and perhaps my greatest creative contribution is that I completed the writing of a Facebook status update.  I don't have much to show for myself.

During those days when I'm firing on all cylinders, I keep a mental tally of hurdles jumped and tasks completed, no matter how insignificant.  I finish the day satisfied: "Look how much I've accomplished!"  Subconsciously, I almost automatically couple this thought with another:  "Look how much I've accomplished; aren't I a good person?"

This is a problem.  If you feel like you're a better human on productive days, the logical corollary is that you'll feel like a worse human on unproductive days.

And as we all know, unproductive days are like bad pennies.  They periodically turn up.

This afternoon, I made a choice not to link my worth with my level of productivity.  I'm more valuable than just my output, and the same goes for you.  Your worth can't be lessened by an unfolded basket of laundry, or an unfinished project, or that kitchen sink full of unwashed dishes unless you let it.

If you're beating yourself up because you haven't been productive today, would you be kind and let yourself off the hook?  You're worth more than your output.

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  1. So well put, Robin. I still wish I could find a way to reduce the number of those "bad pennies," though. ;)


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