As many of us continue to quarantine and practice social distancing, we have all found moments of needing to keep busy and staying productive. I am sure I was not the only one who noticed many posts being shared on social media about how we all have to create and develop and even start new businesses to make the time at home worthwhile. That if you are not being productive then you are wasting the time you have been given. All of these actions require placing a whole lot of energy and effort that some of us may not have.
“It feels as though lockdown is fostering the sort of toxic clock-watching you often find in office environments. There’s an irony in the fact that when, for so many of us, our ability to be productive has suddenly been taken away by circumstances beyond our control, we still feel the need to account for our time.”
The need to continue to be busy, specifically for women, is displayed in how many of us are socialized to constantly be moving, to be involved, to create. We feel guilty when we are not being productive and this sentiment occurs at all stages.
“Study after study has shown that women feel more guilt than men. Researchers have found time and time again that we feel guilty no matter what. When we are at work, we worry about what we are not doing at home. When we are at home, we worry about everything we did not do at work.”
But the truth is there will be a lot more moments when doing nothing will suffice, it does not mean you are lazy or do not have any ideas. It just means that a moment is needed to re-balance and center without the constant need to be completing some task. Sometimes it is just best to stand still and take in your surroundings.
“Self-improvement as we experience it in our capitalist society is always about productivity and never about true enlightenment, pleasure or fulfilment. Working out how to ‘be better’ at being a woman has somehow become a project we all feel compelled to sign up to. When you stop to think about it, you realise that it’s really only about spending your money in order to perform better in a capitalist system. Now, the economy which drives that system has effectively been cryogenically frozen for as long as this crisis continues.”
Everyone has their own way of achieving being content/happy/balanced, some meditate, some practice yoga, others may just lay on their bed and listen to their favorite albums. In the end, the important thing is to do something that brings you joy without the feeling that you have to be and that you must be productive. It is absolutely fine and even encouraged during this time of a pandemic to even do nothing and especially not place all that pressure on yourself to achieve. Just being able to get through a day is truly a goal achieved in itself. And a lot of times we are in need of reminding this.
“We’re at a point where foundational self-care is one of the first things everybody could implement to ensure that when things settle down, when the rubble is cleared a bit, we are able to be productive because we didn’t try to just grind through this whole situation. We need to be sure we’re doing things that will help us navigate this not just from a productivity standpoint but from a human standpoint.”
- Racheal Cook, Productivity Expert, to The Washington Post
 Vicky Spratt, “No, You Don’t Need To Use Isolation To Write A Novel,” Refinery 29, April 6, 2020, https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2020/04/9600145/productivity-coronavirus-guilt
 Sunny Fitzgerald, “Don’t feel like ‘getting things done’? It’s okay not to be productive during a pandemic.” The Washington Post, April 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/productivity-coronavirus-pandemic-projects/2020/04/06/742edf54-76e4-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html