Why Self-punishment Will Not Make You More Productive
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Self-punishment in general is a meaningless exercise, a time-wasting redirection of energy. Yet, for some reason, our human brains commonly jump to blaming the ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’s’ before thinking about anything else.
A much healthier thought process is probably ‘how can I do better?’, not ‘look at all the things I’m doing wrong’.
When it comes to productivity, punishing yourself for lacking motivation or failing to accomplish a worthwhile task is a rather common practice. Though the longer you spend feeling down and out about it, the longer it takes to change things and figure out a way of working that suits you.
There are many reasons why this self-punishing behavior could be reducing your productivity and ultimately limiting your success, including:
Like anything, positivity and the way you speak to yourself play an integral role in the outcome of your life. The self-punishing blame game is toxic, and negativity will further bring down your mood and ultimately make you less productive than you were in the first place.
Well, no one is perfect. All of us fail, make mistakes or take a little longer to accomplish things than others. Self-punishment sends your brain an unhealthy reminder that you’re not enough and trust me, you are, you just haven’t perfected your most productive groove yet. Honestly, most of us haven’t.
Too much pressure on yourself can actually muddle your thoughts and interrupt productive time. Don’t spend your time constantly worrying or feeling on edge, do an exercise, relax and get in the right headspace, so that you can carry on doing what needs doing.
You need to understand your individual habits and practices before you can find motivation and a working process that uplifts you. Some of us work better in the morning, while others work better at night. Some of us need to take a long break at lunch, while others need to take multiple small breaks throughout the day. There’s no written schedule to this thing, only a schedule that works for you personally. If you’re too busy punishing yourself for how things should be, you’ll miss out on the greatness that can be.
Kindness and a sense of empathy towards yourself can be far more valuable than careless blame. So, before you start disciplining yourself mentally and dissecting your missteps, try pondering some of the following questions:
- What times in the day am I most productive?
- When do I need to take breaks?
- What should I do during my break time to recharge?
- Can I incorporate a yoga or meditation practice to lessen pressure?
- What do I need to excel in? And what are the steps I need to get there?
- Is there a particular distraction that’s inhibiting work time? How can I limit that?
- Am I speaking kindly to myself?
- Am I spending too much time on something wasteful?
- How can I change my unhealthy habits?
Many available apps and productivity assistants sell a good tale of how productivity should be but instead influence self-punishing behavior further. From suddenly blocking your activity on an app or website and making you feel guilty or sending big red exclamation points when you fail to meet their expectations.
Though we may think we need those strict blaring signals to keep us on track, wouldn’t it be better to monitor your productivity healthily and find the inner courage to do something about it?
Apps like TimeIvy are different from many other productivity tools out there. Instead of punishing you for distractive actions and cutting them out of your life dramatically (this isn’t The Bachelor!), TimeIvy grows a virtual plant as you stay active on useful apps or websites and lessen your time on unproductive ones. The app rewards your efforts and provides a subtle, kind and gentle reminder to also blossom yourself.
Take the initiative to find a working pattern that compliments your natural habits or typical lifestyle and remember that it’s a continual process. There is no way that you can be at the top of your game all day, every day. That mindset is for robots, not humans.
So, go easy on yourself and alter any negative thinking to constructive and positive questions. Self-punishment will only take you backwards, and it will highlight your insecurities. Productivity cannot thrive in such a destructive setting.
It’s up to you to find the best and most productive version of yourself, and it may take a while to get there and a little nudge here and there, but there is no doubt that when you do, it’ll be worth it.
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