You’ve just wrapped up a long day at work or school, and as you start to wind down for the night, your mind races trying to figure out how you can make the most out of the next day. Making a mental list of assignments to complete or phone calls to make in order to keep moving forward. When you sit down at your workstation the next day instead of delivering the rush of productivity you planned for, you find yourself feeling scattered and sluggish. Sound familiar? 

What you’re experiencing is a normal side effect of human nature and even has a name; productivity shame. A symptom of this toxic mindset is the feeling as though taking time for your own sanity is prohibited in some way. Unfortunately in today’s mega-competitive work culture, we’ve been conditioned to believe that if you’re not working twice as hard as the next person you’ll fail to recognize any progress towards your goals.

Working hard is important. In order to accomplish the goals that you set out for yourself, a certain amount of effort and dedication is required. However, don’t make the mistake of sacrificing your mental health in order to put yourself ahead. When feeling guilty about taking some time for yourself, try and remember that progress is a vastly more accurate representation of your character than any accomplishment.

Applaud yourself for how far you’ve come in your journey of where you want to be instead of focusing on how much there is left. Allowing yourself the proper time to enjoy life and decompress is necessary to achieve your most complete output. No one can be productive 100% of the time, and if they were they wouldn’t be much fun to be around.