3 Tips to Avoid Productivity Guilt

Written by Trisha Bhullar


2021 seems to be the year of productivity. You see, during the pandemic, our lives changed with a load of productivity software – from project management apps like Slack to better communication sites like Zoom. But having this much pressure to be productive can often lead to productivity guilt. If this sounds like you, then fret not – because today’s piece will help you avoid productivity guilt.

What is productivity guilt?

Productivity guilt is a pretty modern phenomenon. It came about from our collective desire to constantly work better, faster and smarter. In fact, it’s quite strongly correlated to the level of technology available around us – because when machines work fast, we try to pressure ourselves to work faster. But when we start falling behind, that’s when the guilt comes around.

While the concept might be foreign to you, you’ve probably felt productivity guilt at least once in the past few months. One common example of productivity guilt is when you have so many tasks on your plate that at the end of the day, you get nothing done. As a result, you go home feeling awful about yourself and wondering why you weren’t productive enough. This is a terrible phenomenon that could ruin your mood, lower your self-esteem, and potentially create a never-ending cycle of unproductivity.

Avoiding guilt when you’re unproductive

To help you avoid the awful feeling of productivity guilt, we’ve created a list of 3 tips for you to bear in mind throughout your work day.

#1 Be realistic and honest

It’s very tempting to jump into your day with energy and attempt to resolve 20 tasks at once. But by the time lunch rolls around, you’d probably be exhausted and demotivated by your lack of progress. Instead of over-committing from the get-go, start your morning by being realistic and honest with yourself. What do you need to accomplish today? What can you feasibly manage to do today? Consider these questions and jot down a brief plan of action for the day. This way, you’ll know which tasks to prioritise, how to sequence your commitments, and whether you’re overloading yourself. As a result, you’re more likely to feel productive.

banerek timeqube min

#2 Use productivity tools

Sometimes productivity guilt arises not when you’re over-committed to many tasks, but struggling to accomplish just a few. This could simply be because you’re unmotivated to do work – and that’s completely normal! Sitting at your desk 5 days a week can get mundane, leading to procrastination. If this sounds like something you struggle with, then try incorporating productivity tools into your day. A Timeqube, for example, is a mindful timer that signals the passing of time using a change in colour. It’s an unobtrusive tool that can help you keep track of your day – plus it looks great in the office! Incorporating such productivity solutions into your day is not only exciting but also genuinely boosts your productivity, ultimately helping you avoid productivity guilt.

#3 Be forgiving

Whether you had too many tasks to handle or simply procrastinated the few tasks you had to do, sometimes you need to remind yourself that you’re only human. You make mistakes and you burn out. It’s all part of life, so don’t be hard on yourself. Instead of swallowing a load of productivity guilt, take the evening off the recharge your mind and body. By being forgiving towards yourself, you avoid productivity guilt and are also more likely to be fresh and motivated for the next day of work!