Productivity Culture

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Another day, another blog post – I definitely have a creative muse right now. Today, I am going to write about something I would like to call productivity culture.

I feel as though in todays day and age productivity is so much more important than it was in previous generations. Maybe this is because of the internet, specifically social media which gives us access to so many people who previously we would have seldom come across.

Social media is full of those who build their platform from their business, their studying, their bullet journals, it is also full of a range of other stories, which when taken the wrong way or read in the wrong mindset can put the rest of us to shame. These ultra-productive people have upped the anti for what it means to be successful, to be productive, to be trying your best.

And obviously that’s not true, success is relative and the rational part of me knows that success is relative, and that everything happens for a reason. I also believe that a lot of the time these online personality’s are just inspirational and nothing more – they certainty don’t intend for harm to come from it. I was studytubers, follow studygrammers myself. I hold nothing against the concept or them as people.

But, I do know that I sometimes have to step back, and there have certainly been times when I have been left feeling like I’m somehow not good enough because I’m not ultra-productice or ultra-successful in life. This brings us to a deeper problem. For some teenagers and young adults, just desperate to be successful, for anxious minds this can cause harm. It can lead to the belief that you have to be doing something worthwhile at every waking second of every day. That you have to sacrifice your sleep, your downtime to being constantly busy.

Busy is the word that brings me to belief that this culture is also heavily represented outside of social media, in certain industries. In law, medicine and academia to name a few. And it can certainly be represented by that family friend everyone has who is doing all the things and puts you to shame. Makes you feel like your not doing enough to be successful in life.

Your not doing enough worthwhile activity. You feel bad for spending maybe a little too much time on social media, watching TV or watching YouTube. For not being successful enough. Currently, I’m unemployed. I’m waiting to hear back about a provisional job offer, and have one assessment centre and an interview lined up next week so it’s not like I’m not trying and I’m really trying to be okay with not being ultra-productive during my time off. And not being ultra successful.

Yes I’m being relatively productive (depending on your definition of the word) because the second I’m not distracted I realise just how bad my chronic pain is. Which is not good. I’m really trying to learn that comparison is the thief of joy and we do not all have to be ultra-productive and ultra-successful.

We are all unique and we all have different roles in this world, we are not all meant to be ultra-productive or successful and nor do we have to be.

It’s all relative. Everything is relative. And self care is so so soo important! Some need more of it than others.

It’s okay to let your body rest after running off adrenaline to get through exams. It’s okay. It’s okay if your barely managing your academic commitments, let alone anything else. And so long as your trying, it’s okay if your presently unemployed be it due to fate or otherwise.

We don’t all have to be ultra-productive all the time.

Be you, be unique and that’s enough.

If you just want to binge TV and do nothing else, that’s okay! If due to illness your unable to do much else that’s also okay!

Listen to your body, your heart and your sole and don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to someone on the internet. If you feel your family or teachers expect to much of you, please don’t let it get to you too much.

And a final reminder – it is okay to rest! We do not have to have every second of our schedules filled out at all times!

Should Goverment, Doctors and Media have have right to tell us what to eat and what not to eat?

Do you know someone who has an eating disorder? Have you seen how damaging they are? Is it possible today’s society has lead to a rise in cases of eating disorders and disorderd eating?

We are surrounded by media. Social networking, newspapers, magazines, Tv, Radio. The goverment is never shy to spread opinions on what we should and should not be eating 5-a-day. Or is it 7? Then there’s that change4life initiative, which is a goverment initiative, using the media to get it’s point across. The Media itself has told many food horror stories The debate between fat and sugar, how excess carbohydrates will make us fat. Contradicting comments on almost everything, it’s all just a little overwhelming! The rise of “Thisperation”. Pro-ana/Pro-mia sites. Vunerable pre-teens and teens have easy access to these sites, day upon day upon day. As a suffer of an eating disorder myself and haqving previously visited these sites I can say that to a pre-disposed mind, there is something about thinspo pictures which are quite enchanting, beautiful. It is also a place people can find friends, for someone with no friends you can see this could cause real problems.

Some say diets don’t work. Some suggest 5:2 or weight watchers. All involve some sort of restriction which can go in either one of to ways and has probably infact lead to an increase in obesity. You say a food is “Bad” you’ll want more of it. You restrict yourself then you want more. Your body craves more. You eat more. The other way restriction can go is leading to an eating disorder, suggesting you have a genetic pre-disposition and you would be surprised by how fast they can take hold.

A huge proportion of people in today’s western world has some form of disordered eating, spurred on by media and goverment. The “fat phobia” many people face. This also discourages people with eating disorders from getting help. They think what they’re doing is normal. The super-skinny celebrities, obsessing over sclothing size and stick thin models. People belive being skinny is right, being skinny is good. There is a commmon association that by being skinny you will be sucsessful. Now you can see how that leads to eating disorders. Right?

Eating disorders are of course an extreme but clearly something has changed to cause the rise. Children as young as 5 even are developing eating disorders. With the increase in media, it would be logical to suggest that is partially a reason for the rise, we are contantly bombarded with health advice, diet tips. Things that not so long ago we were not. It would be logical for the media to be a partial cause. Seeing the effects the media can have, why should they give us diet advice, health tips and all the rest of it? It’s harmful to all, more to some than others.

Going back to the goverment, school curriculums. Teaching children about food and nutrition from a young age. Lat year my brother came home from school one day, decided he couldn’t eat a cake because they are “bad for us.” He was six then! Isn’t is sad that a child who is slim, healthy and eats a balanced diet feels they can’t have a cake because of a lesson at school. We’re constantly reciving lessons of health and nutrition. Actually part of the AQA B1 spec is learning about BMI. Does this not flag up an issue for you? Take a 14/15 year old girl, wants to lose weight and realises according to that BMI chart her BMI is slightly over what is classed as healthy. Mix that with a perfectionistic personality, maybe recently divorced parents or bullying and you have created the perfect confitions for an eating disorder.

I do however realise the opposing veiw and understand it. To me healthy eating is just common sense and I belive all of us have the ability to eat intuitivly, others may struggle. Going back to the goverment, parents may eat unhealthy diets and it is important for the schools to teach children about healthy eating in this case, so they can make good desisions as adults and lead healthy lives. Then there is the issue of doctors If a patient has a weight problem. Either over or underweight then the doctor should work with them on a personal basis to help improve things. The same goes for when a patient is suffering from a condition which could be cured by a change in diet. Doctors should work with the patient on a personal basis, maybe refer them on to a dietistion or a nutritionist. Then there is the issue of the Media. “Supersize vs superskinny” and other such shows can be seen as light entertainment. That is what they are right? They shouldn’t trigger or lead to an eating disorder and people should be responsable enough to make the decision to watch it or not. No ones forced to watch these shows, they shouldn’t be banned just because they have triggered or lead to a few eating disorders. That’s not fair on everyone else.

In conclusion I do not think the media or the goverment should tell us what and what not to eat, and if they do it should be regulated, less contradictary and have more research into whatever is being said. I belive thos because of the effects today’s society can have on innocent indaviduals; doctors however should be allowed to tell us what we should and shouldn’t eat if properly trained in that area. This should only be on a one to one basis if in best intrest of the patient.