Two days ago I was on a client call with a lovely, hardworking ladypreneur who was feeling slightly unproductive, she said, "I just feel like I'm not even doing anything." So why was she feeling like this? To sum it up, because 1) she works for herself and at home and 2) because we are wayyy too hard on ourselves.
Concerning the first point, I know first hand that when we work for ourselves, or especially when we work from home, it can be hard to feel like you're actually getting anything done. Because how could we possibly be productive when we have on our slippers and possibly no makeup, right? It just doesn't seem to add up in our doing doing doing mindset that's drilled into our heads.
But here's the thing, as soon as I asked her to reflect back to me what she did yesterday, and I wrote everything down, she had a whole tasks list of really important aspects of her business! So what gives? Why did she think she wasn't being productive?
Again, back to that first point, I honestly believe that because of the Western world we live in, we put SO much pressure upon ourselves to fit a certain mold of "success." Which for many of us, that means that we still define success as working in a corporate setting for a boss, at a 9-5, with awful office lighting. But that doesn't have to be your your "success!"
For people like my client, myself, and maybe even you, you CAN be a very successful person working for yourself and even from home or at the nearest local coffee shop. Seriously. I see it every day. It can be done, people! For the right person, working for yourself or from home, simply takes a certain level of passion and discipline, and if that's you, then go rock your own version of success!
Now on to point 2. We are way too flipping hard on ourselves. For real. Again, I am partially blaming this on the Western mindset that basically drills into our skulls that anything less than burnout is not conducive to hard work. Like what the f*** is that, anyway? Why do you have to burn yourself out or work 10+ hours a day to be labeled a hard worker or achieve success? Truthfully, I know people that work the standard 40 hours a week and they tell me that they sometimes have nothing to do at work! Come on, I know you see the snap chats: "At work...so bored."
Annnnnd yet we tell people that more hours is somehow better. It means you're doing more?? Doesn't always appear so to me!
Okay, so what's the point of all of this observation and slight rant? Why not try the "What did I do today" List? Let me explain.
At the end of every day, take a moment to reflect on what you DID that day, instead of ruminating over everything that didn't get done or still needs done. We drive ourselves crazy by always focusing on our shortcomings or what else is still on the to-do list; meanwhile, how much time and thought energy do we really put into what we ACCOMPLISHED? Mind blowing, right?!
So take a few minutes every day and reflect on your work day. What DID you do? In this way you are consistently reminded of your own forward motion and progression, rather than lack and not enoughness. Trust me, when you see the list, you're like, "Wow, go me! Look at how much I actually did!" Pat self on the back.
While you're at it, throw in some self care by also asking yourself, "What did I do for myself today?" This could be as simple as "ate a healthy lunch" or "took my vitamins" or "went to yoga."
Focus on the good. Face forward.