Beating Yourself Up Over an Unproductive Day?

I've been productive the past few days. In the late evening hours, I've folded laundry when I rather would have gone to bed. I've tamed the beast of my email inbox. I've graded speeches like it was my job, which is useful, because it is my job. Today, I even took a break from grading by emptying the dishwasher.

If you just look at a snapshot of this singular day, I've been a medalist in the To-Do Olympics, a machine, a girl on fire.

But there are plenty of days unlike today. There are days when my greatest accomplishment is reaching the end in one piece, days when I don't have much to show for myself.

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 at how much I've accomplished!" Subconsciously, I almost automatically couple this thought with another: "Aren't I a good person?"

This is a problem. If I feel like I'm a better human on productive days, the logical corollary is that I 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'm making 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.


  1. This happens to me all the time! I really productive day. Stay up late to knock things out. Next day not so much!

  2. It's such a pendulum, right?


Back to Top