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Balancing Productivity & Rest

Updated: May 17, 2023

Hey sister ~ I don't know about you but I have been overwhelmed by social media and its recommendations for how I should be spending my time. If you're like me, I'm sure you have moments of positive energy where you want to start working on fall plans and other times when you feel drained and overwhelmed by the reality of our world. I have been struggling with the polarizing messages of either prioritizing productivity or allowing myself rest. If you're looking for balance too, keep reading!

woman sitting on her bed with her laptop and bookbag surrounded by plants

I feel like there are two camps when it comes to how we're encouraged to use our time at home during our coronavirus' social distancing. I either hear to GET AFTER IT or COOL IT:


home office desk set-up

These messages motivate us to look at this homebound time as a gift! A true opportunity to catch up on projects that have hit the back burner, clean the pantry, finally edit those bylaws that have needed revision, make progress on a side hustle, or make that workout happen every day. This optimistic view encourages productivity and accountability in hopes of us leaving quarantine feeling accomplished.


woman reading a book in a clawfoot bathtub

On the other side, I have heard a lot of messages about giving ourselves grace. This perspective encourages us to acknowledge the disappointment of what's been canceled and the experiences lost from this time. It reminds us to be aware that we're living through a global pandemic and self-care should be the priority. The stressors associated with this experience should require us to only fill our day with essentials to provide space for processing.

While I agree with the basis of both these perspectives, I struggle with feeling that these mentalities are two extremes and I'm needing something in the middle. These polar opposites make us feel like we should be doing less when we're productive or that we are not doing enough when we're resting. I've found it so hard to be content in my quarantine activities while constantly caught between feeling that I'm not taking advantage of this time enough and that I'm not practicing self-care well enough.

So what happens when I get conflicted about what I should do?

I do nothing. balancing productivity

I'm not intentional with my rest or productive with my projects. I anxiously scroll Instagram or binge a TV show or pick myself apart out of stress! I so quickly become irritable because I feel unable to focus without clarity on what I should be focusing on...

Can you relate to that?

If you do, could you take a deep breath with me right now?

Inhale, exhale.

Okay ~ I hope refreshed your heart and your mind. A much-needed pause for me too :)

I now feel ready to transition into how I think we can confront this tension.

I think the answer we are looking for to tell us what we should be doing with our time lies within us. Our body, mind, and spirit send us messages all day about what it needs. Have we been listening to them? I know I haven't. balancing productivity& rest

At the end of the day, what we all are craving is b a l a n c e.

I believe that by more intentionally tuning into ourselves we will be able to gauge how we should be spending our time. And I bet we'll find that what we need does not lie in one extreme or another. There will be times when we have more energy and creativity to make progress on our responsibilities. There will be other times calling us to decompress and be present in our rest.

The key to successfully being present in our productivity and rest is removing all judgement toward the way we spend our time.

We need to let go of this idea that there is something we "should be doing" and accept that how we spend our time is exactly what we needed. In this new camp of finding balance in our activities, there is no room for guilt or comparison. Being present in your reality is going to look different than a sister's or your mom's. So when you feel like it, I hope you work on projects that you're passionate about to prepare for life again after the pandemic! But I also hope you give yourself grace that watching your favorite show and taking your dog on a walk make a perfect day.

I hope you, too, find your unique balance between productivity and rest in our present chaos.

silhouette of a person balancing on a rock in front of an orange sunset

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