Note: This article does not take a scientific spin on Newton’s 4th law rather, a metaphorical one.
How often do you come across reels in your Instagram with aesthetically pleasing setups, where people showcase their productivity by fancy stationary, an iPad and their flawless note taking skills? Quite often right! It makes you question yourself. Am I of any good? Why am I wasting time scrolling on social media? I am worthless. While social media influencers with a fancy lifestyle ask you to motivate yourself with positive affirmations, it can give you a temporary boost of confidence but later you will see yourself slumped on the couch too tired to do work, too tired to rest. But believe, you are not alone.
Newton’s 4th Law
I’d like to call it Newton’s 4th law. The first three laws rule the world. The 4th law also is ruling the world, but no one explicitly acknowledges it. The fourth law states that ‘The value of a person is directly proportional to his/her productivity’. Yes, that is it. This single statement is the sole destroyer of the mental health of people, and ironically the destroyer of their productivity too.
Giving the statement a first glance, you will be virtually staring at me and saying what’s wrong with that. But by the end of this article, I assure you I’d have sparked something in you. The societal rules say that you have to be productive every single moment of your life. You would have heard your parents asking you to read books during your summer break so you can improve your vocabulary. Go to music class, you can be the next Shreya Ghoshal. Go to dance class, chess class and what not. The world basically says to shove skills into your throat so that you can be ‘valued’ as a man in the society.
So what is productivity?
What no one says you is that, productivity is not something measured by the time you spend before a laptop doing ‘work’ or the number of pages read in a book. It is not juggling multiple tasks by half-focusing on each task. It is a feeling of satisfaction that fills your heart. A feeling that cannot be measure by time or effort. You should feel happy that you did something new today. That work can either be a progress or a rollback, doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, all that matters is that your person you are today knows something more than the person you were yesterday. Happiness inspires productivity.
So am I saying that you should lessen the time of work or read fewer pages? Not essentially. You can still say that you are productive without feeling guilty of not crossing your intended checkpoint. You can take breaks instead of working 3 hours straight. You can do a few jumping jacks. You can sit idle for a while and do nothing. By idle, I don’t mean you can catch up on Netflix or scroll your phone.
Just sit idle and don’t do anything at all. Try not to think of anything. When you try not thinking, I can bet that your mind will reel great philosophies which you never would’ve thought about otherwise. It will think about that embarrassing incident that happened 2 years ago. No kidding. Try it and you will be amazed if you follow your train of thoughts. These small techniques not only improve productivity, but also improve your overall physical and mental health.
What isn’t productivity?
This list can include things which you previously thought belonged to the other list.
- Working for longer hours=More productivity
- Hoarding up more number of tasks together
- Not planning on what to do before actually starting to do work
- Trying to do everything by yourself
- Neglecting social life
Be careful and identify these red flags. Once you identify it, try to change your mindset. As the old saying goes, mind is THE master.
I lined up for you what productivity is and how its definition has been corrupted by the society. Lead life one moment at a time, for life is nothing but the amalgamation of moments silver lined with emotions. I leave you with the quote of a great man.
Improved productivity means less human sweat, not more.