Productivity during lockdown

How did you spend your time during the Corona crisis? This is going to be a big question in the future. Whether it’s asked compassionately or judgmentally is important. If there’s one thing that is deeply rooted in many of us, it’s the feeling that we haven’t done enough. Millennials grew up with a lie – having a bachelor’s degree is the solution for a better life. We are twice as educated as our parents, yet we need their financial support. We even monetised our hobbies! Eventually every bit of our living has become profit oriented, yet we feel inadequate. So during this crisis, it’s time to remember that doing nothing is normal. Is it even right to question our ‘lockdown productivity’?

We are bombarded with “how to’s” and the pressure of using this time productively is growing. None of this hints at empathy.  Charlotte Lieberman explained in The New York Times that procrastination is a result of negative emotions. The article was written before the lockdown, but it is revelant now more than ever. Unless we are Jeff Bezos, who profits from the crisis, we experience great stress. I feel that even losing my job is a privileged problem, compared with what others are dealing with. Thus, i made my choice – this time, I’m not going to be productive. Being lazy is my way of coping with it. I used this time to talk with my friends all of whom shared two phases – weeks of being extremely productive or shamefully lazy. but are they really lazy? There is a fixed idea of what productivity entails. Reading books, practising a hobby and exercising. Doing one of the three or not doing them consistently, is not enough. But the superhumans that we see on our screens are not real. As a result, this pressure is not just applied from us to ourselves, but also to our peers. We are judging our friends, as a reflective frustration. Somebody should be perfect and if not ourselves or those who surrounds us, then who?!

Now is not the time for faster, smarter, stronger. We have followed the advice from the market for too long and now it’s time for a break. We were frustrated before the crisis, because of the lack of success from their recipe. Not following it now might be more rewarding. What about cooking, going for walks and talking with friends? We underestimated these activities throughout the years, since happiness is measured from success and money, rather than inner peace and happy relationships. My point is that there is a feeling that we forgot how to be human. My friends are amazing people, who accomplished a lot within a few years. Nonetheless they are haunted by guilt, as we all are, when faced with the modern day ‘sin’ of doing nothing.

It’s time for the reevaluation of many aspects of our lives, and productivity should be one of them. There is no big or small problem in this crisis. Each other’s ways of coping with it should stand without judgement. The main goal should be trying to stay sane. Hence, it doesn’t matter if I was productive during this time. Being shamelessly lazy gave me something much greater.. being kinder to myself and those around me.


Lockdown productivity: Shamelessly lazy, is an article by Carolina as part of our 2020 Coronavirus magazine. You can have a read through the whole magazine here:

Coronavirus magazine front cover

If you’d like to join one of our upcoming writing projects, please feel free to contact us!

Leave a Reply