Why Do I Feel Like I Always Have To Be Productive?

I love work, always have done and hope I always will do. That feeling of accomplishing something whether it’s finishing a 14-hour shift, completing a 12,000-word marketing strategy or just getting shit done is something I thrive off. However, I feel as I get older, all I want to do is be productive. I feel guilty when I take time for myself and deflated when I haven’t ticked off everything on my to-do list but why do I feel like I always have to be productive?

My routine every day for the last few years has been to wake up and write a to-do list. Whether it’s in a fancy notebook or on the back of an envelope, I guarantee you I will have a list. If I don’t get everything ticked off or at least semi-completed by the day then I seriously beat myself up about it. “What is even the point in waking up if I’m not going to do anything worthwhile?” I ask myself. I just hate feeling like I’ve wasted a day or even an hour and that there are things I could’ve done instead of wasting 40 minutes watching the worst ANTM makeovers on YouTube (aka my productivity nemesis). But surely I’m not the only one am I? Why do we feel such pressure to not waste time?

have to be productive


It’s like Beth said in one of her older posts, our generation has an obsession with being busy and I totally get that. We set unrealistic expectations for ourselves and then get down when we haven’t smashed through all 5000 tasks on our to-do list. Just because people say they’re at the tearing-out-hair level of busy in their Instagram captions, it doesn’t mean they actually are so yanno, chillax a little. I’ll tell you what, the only person who puts pressure on me, is me.

So how do we overcome the pressure to be productive?

I’ve come to realise that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t have a productive day or get off my arse and do anything. It’s okay to have those days where you don’t even put a bra on and just binge watch Gossip Girl for eight hours solid. It’s okay to switch off in aid of your mental health because we all need those days!

We can’t do everything all the time and don’t forget, you always have tomorrow to iron that dress you’re gonna wear next week or pop to the post office to return all those ASOS packages you ordered . Sometimes things crop up which stop you from ticking task six off your to-do list but THAT’S OKAY! Could you really be bothered to wash your car anyway? Haha!

As much as I love being busy, maybe it’s time to be a little un-busy every now and then. I’m saying goodbye to-do lists as long as my arm, hello Marvel marathons!

Do you feel the pressure to be productive 24/7?


  1. 10/09/2018 / 17:21

    I definitely feel like I always have to be productive! I feel like I’ve wasted my day if I don’t get a lot done!

    • Katy
      14/09/2018 / 10:07

      It’s not just me then! It’s such a horrible feeling as well! x

  2. 02/10/2018 / 09:19

    Oh my goodness I love this post! I definitely feel this way and I have to keep reminding myself that it’s ok to be only human. I don’t have to be a machine. I can be unproductive sometimes. B x

    • Katy
      02/10/2018 / 09:42

      Exactly! We don’t have to be all systems go all of the time! x

  3. 02/10/2018 / 09:20

    I totally relate, If I dont work I feel lazy and unproductive. I recently started a part time job and on my days off I feel guilty- I dont have anything I ‘have to do’ but I still make a list and make myself do productive things. Whether that be clean, write blog posts etc… But realistically, I am trying to teach myself that life is made for living, not for working. Work to live not live to work ! xxx


    • Katy
      02/10/2018 / 09:44

      Yay, it’s not just me! I really need to start living by that quote! x

  4. 02/04/2019 / 11:06

    I totally agree. Sometimes I end up feeling guilty of I haven’t done enough that day, but actually being unproductive can be so good for you. B x

    • Katy
      04/04/2019 / 14:21

      We all definitely need time to switch off and be unproductive! x

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