weeknotes #31: productivity guilt

I have felt unmotivated recently. Still! Whilst trying to put my finger on what could be causing it, I find myself panicking over the fact that I seem to have lost touch with myself. I don’t really know what is causing the lack of motivation, and the more I question it, the more frustrated I get. It feels like I ask myself why when I should be putting my head down and getting the work done. I want to get the work done, but I also feel constantly distracted, both in my work and personal life.

It has been important and useful for me to give myself the space whenever I feel like I’m struggling to get things done. I think I have come a long way from just sitting there and making myself work but effectively being useless, when that time and energy would be better spent recovering and resting, or doing something else, and then coming back when I am in the right headspace. It is what’s healthy.

I am trying to find consistency in something, anything. Something stable. Even my exercise doesn’t feel super regular, but having a program and committing to it has been easier than a lot of other things. I had some blog posts planned, like still planning to finish writing about our Greece trip, and a handful of Stylesheet posts that have just been de-prioritised. 💩

I’m glad that I have been reading books and enjoying what I’ve been reading. I have tried to be more and more OK with the fact that not every book is worth my time and there are some that I won’t finish because I don’t enjoy reading them. It’s something I have found peace with, having abandoned the Thinking Fast, and Slow audiobook, and not continuing to read Gut by Giulia Enders, as it was not quite the funny and interesting book I thought it would be.

I actually wrote the above before I finished reading Zen in the Art of Writing, a collection of essays by renowned author Ray Bradbury. Admittedly I haven’t read any of his work, but Nabil recommended the book to me, and even though it didn’t resonate with me in any kind of profound way, it left me with a newfound sort of energy to spend time writing. Not just spend time. But spend more time. I’m visiting this blog post at a time of day when I feel more refreshed rather than exhausted.

I’m hoping to “catch up with myself” over the next few days, since last weekend left me a bit socialled out. I saw my family, Geoff and I recorded two Toast & Roast episodes, Nick and I saw Jimmy Rees do a live show and then went out for dinner at Kid Kyoto (a degustation!), and the next day I saw my friend Lilian for the first time in a while and we spent a long time perusing our high school yearbook. Needless to say, there were some remarks in there that absolutely would not fly in 2022 given that they are racist or offensive in some other way. Not to mention the change in meaning of some figures of speech. “Woke” just wasn’t a thing back then.

A table laid out with small round plates with various Korean cuisine side dishes.
Love all the Korean sides! (Well, mostly kimchi)
A shallow plate served with pancakes topped with ricotta and fruit, with a small dish of syrup
Pancakes for brunch – naughty 🤭
Nick, a white man with short dark hair and a short beard, sitting in a bar with some cocktails on the table near him. He is wearing a dark red jumper and a dark blue coat and light coloured pants
We went bar hopping 🍹
Me, Georgie, an Asian woman with short dark hair, standing on the sidewalk at night. I’m wearing dark jeans, a grey graphic tee and a cropped light blue puffer jacket. I have white pointed boots on and am carrying a small, bright blue handbag.
My outfit. The boots make it!
A table laid out with exquisite, fancily served dishes. There are two bowls and one long rectangular plate.
Some of the delicacies at Kid Kyoto
A table in a cafe served with an iron dish with baked eggs and a side of hash browns
Baked eggs filled me up 🍳
Me, Georgie, and my friend Lilian, an Asian woman with long dark hair, sitting at a table in a cafe. The table has baked eggs served on plates. I am wearing a white and navy striped top, showing the “v” peace sign, and Lilian is wearing a light green-blue top.
Me and Lilian!

I am also wary of this attitude of “catching up with myself” being attributed to productivity guilt, something that has arisen as a result of hustle culture. I came across an Instagram post that highlighted my behaviour because even though I needed to rest, I felt guilty and that I had to continue creating content and “working”. I don’t want to be burdened by my own toxicity, but maybe a way of re-wording that would be that I want to try harder to focus on cleaning up at home, write some blog posts I was planning, edit some podcast transcripts, complete some posts I was planning to post on social media, and make sure I am organised and on top of errands so that my mental health doesn’t suffer. Sound good?

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