The Self-Care Way to Better Productivity

Why none of those self-help articles are working for you.

Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

Since I’ve started freelancing, I’ve read countless articles for better productivity and concentration, and when they didn’t have any effect, I turned on myself thinking that I just wasn’t capable of having more self-discipline.

What I didn’t realise, and most articles never mentioned, is that generic solutions don’t work for individual problems UNTIL you delve into your own mind to work out why you have those problems in the first place.

Think about it: when you are standing in your own way, preventing yourself from doing creative work that you love — however hard the process is — that isn’t normal. Something is going on. If all your material needs are met, and you have enough time, the only reason why you aren’t letting yourself reach your full potential comes from your own brain.

This doesn’t mean it’s your fault.

Quite the opposite. A large part of how systemic oppression is maintained — be it racism, sexism or classism — is by making us complicit in our own oppression. By feeding us fears and self-doubt, we are held back from doing the amazing things we can do. We stand in our own way so that no one else has to.

Thankfully, although it takes time and effort, we are able to change our own thought patterns.

This requires a good deal of self-care, and exercises that may feel, at first, like a waste of time, or even like navel-gazing.

But the only way you can beat your own blockages is to understand them.

Here are two resources I found incredibly helpful in gaining in self awareness:

Nir Eyal’s Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life

Eyal writes that there are four different axis that need to be worked on to become “indistractable”:

  • Hack back external triggers
  • Master internal triggers
  • Make time for traction
  • Prevent distraction with pacts

Does anything surprise you about these four aspects?

Only one of them comes from the outside. All the others involve turning inwards, and working on ourselves, to work out why we are getting distracted in the first place, and what from.

Rebecca L. Weber’s The Writing Coach Podcast

The best podcast about writing I’ve come across. There are great episodes about setting goals, pitching and idea finding, but always with a large focus on self-awareness and working on ourselves to move forward. A great one to start with is the very first episode on problem-solving.

*I’m not affiliated with either of these works, this is just my honest opinion about a podcast and a book that work for me :)

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