The existing peer pressure online to be “productive” is bound to make you question your futility and lack of productivity during the quarantine period. But, who said that the quarantine period is a contest?
“If you have not learnt any new skills during this lockdown, you lack discipline!”
“Learn how to use your time productively and amp your CV!”
“How do I use my free time during the lockdown?”
“How can I be more productive?”
LinkedIn overflows with enthusiastic students and professionals uploading tons of certification courses and virtual internships. Instagram overflows with budding chefs, YouTubers and content creators displaying their latest dish, video and DIYs. The existent peer pressure is bound to make you question your futility and lack of productivity during the quarantine period. However, the question that thus arises is, have we given in to the productivity guilt or not?
With an ample amount of time to spare, the idle mind surely cooks up conspiracy theories and fan fiction and that is alright! We have spent days and nights working, hoping to get the perfect CV ready. Over-work, over-stress, this is a much-needed break. The quarantine is nature’s way to ask us to calm down, to take a break, re-think and pause.
Rhea Dsouza, a student of Jesus and Mary College reminds us to take a break amidst this world-shaking pandemic, “Think of all the times you have had to overwork yourself and do the extra deed. Look at this as a well-deserved break from all the times you overdid yourself.”
People are on the streets, dying. People are on the hospital beds, dying. It is a pandemic, a historical event which defines the course of history. Crude oil hits below USD 0, we await a global recession, world-leaders have tested positive, the world today is anything but normal. Some have the perseverance and strength to continue with their day’s work without any intrusive thoughts.
As an individual with anxiety, it is not easy. The fear is not intermittent; it is constant, consistent, steady and staring right into your eyes. I too believed let’s work on that CV, managing over four jobs, two internships, assignments, societies, a stable relationship, an unstable family and mental health later, I quit. Life is more than aiming to ace the perfect CV, sacrifice your family and social life to work, work and work!
A student of Ramjas College, Pranjal Gupta juggles amidst six jobs and internships and fails to draw the line between academics and productivity. “Ever since the lockdown, I’ve been checking people’s profile on LinkedIn. When I see them doing so many things, achieving so much at this stage of their lives there is this constant fear that haunts me, “Am I not giving my best?”, “Why did I miss this opportunity?”, “Shall I enrol in this or that?” I have involved myself in so much that I seem to be lost somewhere and not know what my hobbies are.”
The relationship between productivity and capitalism is an old, toxic one. The hustle culture points towards a notion that those who don’t hustle, they cannot succeed. There is no harm in staring at the wall for day’s ends, binge-watching the same show countless times, experimenting in the kitchen, bonding over board games with your family, you have the rein to your life in your palms, only you can direct it, not social media gimmicks.
Pranjal continues, “Lockdown hasn’t given me a chance to be bored and actually fuel me with a drive to do something new, I’m just running like a sheep. Is this how I’m going to be different from the crowd? Without any introspection in such historic times?”
We need to be gentle with ourselves, there is only so much that our body and brain is capable of, without the burnout phase. Some people thrive under stress, some don’t. Some can learn a new language, some take multiple efforts in simply getting out of the bed. Some seek solace in working relentlessly, some can hardly breathe. Today, if you have taken a deep breath filling yourself with the rejuvenating air, that is enough. Just breath.
Featured Image Credits: Instagram