I've tried almost every productivity tip out there, and most of them just made me feel anxious

I've tried almost every productivity tip out there, and most of them just made me feel anxious
From Business Insider - November 4, 2017

Reading productivity advice just led to feeling anxious and unproductive. Strelka Institute/Flickr

Like many professional women with more responsibilities than there are hours in the day, I have an obsession with organization.

Theres no method that I wont try at least oncePomodoro, Bullet Journals, and Inbox Zero have each beckoned to me at different points in my career, with varying results.

This yearning to discover the One True Method that will finally allow me to Have It All has taken me down some serious internet rabbit holes, where Ive spent hours in the mines of productivity journalism looking for diamonds.

For those unfamiliar with this genre, there is alotof content.

My taste runs toward articles whose headlines begin with The 3 Habits of All Successful ______, or How To Get The Most Out of Your Morning / Afternoon / Evening / Workout / Meeting / Bathroom Break / Happy Hour.

They speak to a part of me that feels like if I gather as much insight into the habits of other successful people as I can, I will become more productive by pure osmosis.

As you can imagine, the quest to change my life one article at a time has gone okay. I never regret experimenting with new ways to work, and Ive picked up some good tips along the way. (Its true what they sayBullet Journalingismagical.)

But a side effect of trying (and often failing) at these different productivity experiments is a creeping feeling of anxiety, inadequacy, and paranoia that everyone around me is doing a better job at keeping it together than I am.

Turns out Im not alone. Oliver Burkeman identified this very feeling inThe Guardian, writing of methods like Inbox Zero and the 4-Hour Workweek:

The truth is that more often than not, techniques designed to enhance ones personal productivity seem to exacerbate the very anxieties they were meant to allay. The better you get at managing time, the less of it you feel that you have.
At the very bottom of our anxious urge to manage time better its not hard to discern a familiar motive: the fear of death. As the philosopher Thomas Nagel has put it, on any meaningful timescale other than human life itselfthat of the planet, say, or the cosmoswe will all be dead any minute.
The original meaning of the concept of leisure has practically been forgotten in todays leisure-less culture of total work: in order to win our way to a real understanding of leisure, we must confronthow extensively the opposing idea of work has invaded and taken over the whole realm of human action and of human existence as a whole.


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