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I Didn't Do The Thing Today: On letting go of productivity guilt

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Perhaps instead of filling time, we can inspect whether what we fill it with creates a sense of fulfillment.

A bonus star because it gave me the strength and inner peace to Let Go of Productivity Guilt and stop reading halfway through.So many of these let go and let breathe pieces of advice are just kept in the abstract when what would also be useful is “here’s how you set the boundary even if you haven’t done it before start now…” glad I borrowed it from the library. Packed full of thoughtful and thought-invoking quotes and passing on lived experiences of not having to be a Productivity Powerhouse all the time; you can just be a human too. But luckily, the antidote is delightful discipline—putting fascination, curiosity, and enjoyment in place of punishing rules. I also just find a source of endless frustration when authors make an active choice to name drop- and even more so when the name dropping comes from situations and interviews they weren’t even involved with. If I had a quarter for every time the author uses the words, “we,” “our,” or “us,” I could live off that for a few months.

Beyond being thought-provoking and well-organized, it gets bonus points for not making up a new word every page (like most self-help books) and instead relying on well-established terms. I listened to the audiobook while doing my daily “chores”, and that alone really boosted my productivity. Madeleine Dore has produced a book that is both practical and inspiring; that recognises the tensions in life, that we can’t always do all the things, but also that sometimes those things are still important.Through these platforms and by regularly conducting life experiments, Dore investigates how to live creatively and broaden the definition of a day well spent. It made it read like an academic paper, with the appropriate quote coming after the statement to justify it. While this book wasn’t completely life-changing, it was a good read that did inspire me to shift my thinking on productivity. We are imperfect and bound to waste time: we put things off, become distracted, chit-chat too long with colleagues.

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