You look at the clock. It’s 5pm.
It’s already 5?!
I’ve. Done. Nothing.
You know those days? Those days where it feels like you’ve done absolutely nothing and deem yourself a failure at life. Because you just watched YouTube videos for 3 hours straight. Or stared deep into the wall, willing Ryan Gosling to walk out of it.
Yesterday sort of felt like this. Unproductive and useless to the world. I did wake up at 10, despite coming home at 3am the night before, but the day flew by and before I knew it, it was gone. GONE. And you can’t get away with these days when you go to Drama Centre.
My voice was shot and the sniffles were beginning to ruin my life. Because everyone keeps getting SICK AND STILL COMING TO SCHOOL. I love y’all. But seriously. Keep your germs to yourself.
And just to clarify, I did not stare at the wall all day.
I had no food in the house, having moved in only a week ago. So I had an apple accompanied by a jar of peanut butter and a spoon (this isn’t unusual). But that’s all I had before showering and leaving the house. Because I thought I’d get a few small things from IKEA.
So I took the bus to IKEA and spent god knows how long in that maze of wonder. When I finally made it to the checkout, I went through my cart of goodies. Shuffling things around. Planning exactly how I would lug it home. Then I checked out. Then tried to get an Uber. Because I decided there was no way I would be capable of carrying it all on my own. But that didn’t work, so I went back inside and got another bag because I was about to make the trek of my life. Then got stuck on the escalator thing back down, and when it got fixed, it started going the other goddamn way. With two massive bags on my shoulders and a canvas half the size of me.
See, you’re probably wondering where the time went.
Anyway. After the drama of IKEA, almost dying on the bus back, I made it home. At like 5:30. And I still needed to get food.
After all was said and done, I had everything put away and dinner made at maybe 10pm. And all I could thing about is I have so much work to do.
Sorry, I’ve really been going about this the long way round, but I’m getting to the point.
I sat there in my newly decorated room, not feeling particularly elated. Then I reflected on my day. Thinking about all the things I had done. And I realized this.
You don’t have to have it validated to be productive.
That morning, while I ate my apple and peanut butter, I published a blog post. Something I had wanted to write about for a while. Then I scrolled through Bloglovin’, which felt entirely unproductive but it wasn’t. Yeah, I do it for my enjoyment, but also to boost my creativity. To be a part of a community. And in return I develop ideas and inspiration. That’s important! I wouldn’t be blogging without it.
Research is just as important as the product.
I did spend quite a bit of time in IKEA, but I was feeling particularly upset, and walking around and picking out things for my room was therapeutic and allowed me to focus on something else.
Wellness doesn’t always mean productivity.
Think of it as productivity for your wellness. What do you need right now? More sleep? A feel-good movie? To chat with a friend? These are all things that keep us sane; don’t neglect them.
The trek to and from IKEA wasn’t all that short, but it wasn’t particularly a waste of time. Because 1. I did a lot of walking and 2. I read a book on the way. It was fiction (see what I’m reading here), not for school, and I possibly should have brought a different one instead for school. But the book wasn’t “unproductive.” I think I’ve talked about creative productivity vs. productivity before, and this definitely falls under creative productivity. Why? I do claim to be a “writer,” and the best way to improve is to read (and in your genre). And sometimes I need a break from reality sometimes. Some perspective.
When I finally relaxed into my cozy sanctuary, I reflected on all of this. And I had conjured up a list of ideas and my mind was fresh for tedious school work (which I do love, but… you know). It’s all these things that are important in different aspects of our lives. It isn’t always easy to remember that we have different aspects of our lives when we’re wrapped up in something big. Like school.
Don’t wear yourself out.
By the WAY. I am in love with how my space is coming together so far. I haven’t had a proper place of my own in years, so I’ve gone a bit nuts. I can’t wait to share some photos when it’s done, which I will do!
Right. Yes. My point is (I make a lot of “points” don’t I), most unproductive days aren’t actually unproductive. They might just be productive in a way you didn’t think it would be. And that’s okay. Don’t get down on yourself about it!
I understand how guilty the feeling is when you’re thinking what the hell am I doing? Just take a deep breath and reflect. Honestly, don’t put it past yourself so quickly. Try it.
Try not to force to do anything when you just can’t. Yes, at some point you do have to write this essay, or read that book. Don’t put it off until the last minute, but think about yourself as a person instead of an assignment machine. And then you might be able to value your days more, whether they were productive or not.
Do you wish it didn’t happen? Did you regret it?