We are passing a strange time now. We never heard our elders saying they went through a time like this in their era. None of us has the slightest memory of living like this. We are barred from going outside to save our lives, but our lives inside are not getting any merrier either.
Ever since the lockdown has begun, my screen started being flooded with ideas to cope with this lockdown. That's great because we have to keep going to pass our time. And we have got an abundance of time so we might as well use it by doing some new things.
So far it was okay. But then a sort of competition began to measure how productive we are being? Are we utilising the time in the absolute best ways? People are challenging each other over book reading, workouts, even how many dishes a person can cook in a week!
I even came across an image which is being shared a lot by people containing these lines -
"If you don't come out from this lockdown without being skilled or having more knowledge; remember you never lacked time, you lacked discipline." I felt like this was more like a threat than inspiring people to be productive.
First of all, who gave these people this noble responsibility to shame others who are not being productive enough according to their standards? I mean there is a lot going on for every one of us. We are confined at our homes for an indefinite amount of time, we don't know when it will be over.
Some of us have already lost jobs and some have no idea how long we can keep our ones. Our savings are coming to an end, students are in fear of facing session jams. Above all, we are going through a pandemic! This is a lot to absorb even for the most jovial person on the planet.
Before tagging yourself as "worthless" by hovering over enthusiastic posts, you should ask yourself who set these standards of productivity? People of this century suffer from an insatiable hunger for success. While aspiring to success is commendable, this is mostly measured by wealth and power.
The standard is set by capitalism which tells us if our eyes are moving from the goals even for a second, we're wasting our time. We go through anxiety in fear of lagging behind the rest. Capitalism has engraved in us the idea that we always need to stay ahead in the race to attain a contented life. It literally accentuates "time is money" in every aspect of human experience. If you take some time off even for your own good, you're done.
We live in a world where our worth is judged by the outcome of our productivity. We have to compromise our mental health in this hustle to climb through the ladder. But now we have got an unwanted break from that schedule. Did we ask for this? No. But we had to deal with this anyway.
You have finally got some leisure to sit at the backseat and spare your soul from the noise. Having some "me-time" might not increase your bank balance or not be a part of that long-to-do work list that you were supposed to finish yesterday. But it gives you some time to profoundly think about yourself. Because there are more important things in life than just getting things done.
No matter how frivolous or nonsensical our little hobbies seem at the usual time, these small elements actually create our personality. You might have noticed, we always remember those incidents which made our souls truly happy. So now, make some effort to make yourself really happy. Because the whole world is stuck with you, nobody is fast forwarding anywhere. Maybe this is the time to do just nothing! You don't have to feel pressured if some random influencer is calling you lazy and pushing to do better. Don't pay them any heed. You can stare at the wall for hours if you like or try counting the stars maybe. Binge watch your favorite sitcom or anything you feel like; might try reading a book that you want to, not "recommended". Spend time with your family or waste hours making video calls with those people whom you'll rush towards once this lockdown ends. You can even sleep straight 18 hours like me.
Because mental health is just as important as having a secured life. Nowadays, sometimes I'm waking up like a sunflower having all the positivity inside and just the next day everything seems pointless. The situation already feels so heavy and it can feel even heavier if we pressurise ourselves on doing things that we're not feeling like doing now.
And for those who are taking counts and shaming others by productivity rate, please be kind to people and to yourself. It's great that the productivity hacks are working out for you but these are not bound to work the same way for everybody. Try to empathise a little because people are really going through a lot. The world is losing it for tackling a recession - people might have to deal serious financial drawbacks to put food on their tables. Not everyone's experience is pleasant at their homes; domestic abuse incidents have soared drastically and many are stuck with toxic companions.
Most importantly people are actually dying. It's stressful to stay sane under constant fear that anytime I or my loved one can get infected and might even get counted in the death toll. Many are being deprived from adequate treatment, the impoverished are scrounging on streets for relief.
Surviving and keeping it together is the biggest fight right now. Don't feel guilty for not participating in this productivity race. Because you can turn things on your way once everything takes up again.