I don’t know if it is just me, but i think there is something about either living in London or just being a millennial that means I constantly feel the need to be doing something productive, even when procrastinating.
I always have a to do list on my phone and half of the time when I tick something off, like the gym, or washing, it needs unticking and doing again days later.
There is a state of guilt whenever I sit and watch TV, as I consider this ‘doing nothing’. I have to at least be doing something in my room like tidying, or even scheduling and drafting instagram posts, so I don’t feel like I am wasting my very limited time then i am not either at work, the gym or socialising.
There is such a hustle and bustle from living in London that I think this must be part of it – living in London means you are probably losing 1-2 hours of your day travelling, like many I try to use this time productively too, by reading, although I see people listening to podcasts, and catching up on TV series all the time which is also a good way to fill the time that is otherwise lost. Sometimes I am grateful for the lack of signal and internet down on the tube, as it gives me time away from my phone to concentrate on reading without distractions, which can be difficult when just sat at home in the evening.
I think so many of us are so busy in London as there is so much to do here and so many people to see, that we often don’t spend much time at home and the time that is spent there needs to be spent catching up on chores.
But also with the pressure of social media on us 24/7 with others constantly posting about what great place they visited today or their successful workout, new outfit and so forth that we feel the need to keep up in order not to ‘fall behind’.
Some things which feel productive can also be a bit of a double edged sword time wise though, if I go to the gym for example, I get there around 7-7.30 having left work around 6, I do about 45-60 minutes there, get home, make dinner, have a shower and suddenly it is 9pm and my evening feels practically over and I do not often feel that inclined to start doing productive things unless they are small tasks. Not to mention after all of that I often feel pretty exhausted.
It is a little overwhelming at times, and I have to say I have been bad as long as I can remember for thinking that I have too much to do to even start so I will just chill and watch TV and scroll through social media for an hour or so before bed. But I am working on my motivation to do more.
I have recently gotten really on top of my workload at work, which is basically unheard of in my job, and I am feeling pretty good about it and want to transfer this to my everyday life too.
I think breaking things down into small tasks is good, and helps take away the daunting factor of some things. Whilst having a long list can be daunting too, once you start ticking things off it is really quite satisfying and makes me feel that I have got things done. I also bought a journal from Paperchase earlier this year which I love, that records things like your daily water and fruit/veg intake and gives you goal lists for the month and the week as well as a reflection section at the end of the month, which is quite handy in terms of making little improvements to habits. I have certainly drunk a lot more water since starting it, and been more aware (although not always better!) at my five a day.
Equally, I think it is important to allow yourself a bit of time to catch up with your favourite series, or read that book that you have been meaning to and spend some time relaxing.
Essentially, my point is that being an adult is hard and it always feels like there is so much to do and that you should be doing to stay on top of your life, and I am still figuring out how best to manage that without collapsing from exhaustion! Honestly, those memes you see about trying to stay in touch with friends, drink enough water, pay bills, do exercise and not be bankrupt are too real.
But hey, we are all in this together, as the wisdom of High School Musical once taught us.
So I am off to spend my reasonably free weekend being about 70% productive and 30% chill. Because it’s all about balance. I think.