“I can’t get motivated.”
“I’m not being productive.”
Have you felt that lately? There are so many pandemic related reasons for burnout right now, but one hypothesis I have for a lack of drive is how we view our value. We’re used to measuring success based on productivity, but in a virtual school/work world it looks a lot different and it’s thrown us off. In this pep talk, I chat productivity, the effect of assigning output to our worth, and a mentor shift to help with motivation.
The word “productivity” popped up in my conversations lately and it stood out to me. It’s not a theme I usually hear. Normally with my students, I get a lot of, “I have so much to do, I don’t know where to start!” or “I have a lot to accomplish and not a lot of time!” It’s not typically an issue of motivation so I sat with myself to figure out what’s going on.
My hypothesis is that we’re so used to output being tied to our self worth, but in this pandemic world, we can’t measure our success based on what we got done in a day the same way we used to and it’s had consequences. We used productivity as a measurement of success and for many, that looks a lot different right now.
What I’ve mentored my students to do when a pandemic productivity problem comes up is to shift thinking about productivity to purpose. Instead of assessing your worth is based on what you can get done in a day, focus on where you find meaning.
This mindset change can be really helpful especially as girls graduate and go out into the workforce. You can evaluate who you are based on your inner world and not look to the external all the time with how many things you got crossed off a list or how late you stayed at work. Measuring success without considering your inner world, is not completely fulfilling. To sum up my biggest pandemic productivity tip: when you feel unproductive think about purpose.