The Mindfulness Diaries: productivity blocks


Nidhi Thomas

In this weekly column, guest contributer Nidhi Thomas writes about bringing mindfulness into everyday life.

Nidhi Thomas, Staff Reporter

If you ask 100 different people to submit a report of everything they do for a day, you’d probably find the following three things in every person’s report; eating, sleeping, and one less obvious one, stressing- about one thing or another. 

No matter what the circumstance is, whether you’re on a relaxing beach vacation or just at home powering through an ordinary day, you’ll always find something to stress about. Stress is human nature, and sometimes it’s good. It helps you switch from fun mode to work mode- helps you achieve your goals. But unfortunately, sometimes we let it consume our lives. In our fast paced world that’s constantly changing, we sometimes struggle to keep up with everything. Everyone everywhere wants you to master every skill possible, and try out all these new things. 

Take high school for example. It’s great that we as students are pushed to reach our full potential, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Sometimes we see students joining too many clubs, doing too many extracurriculars- taking too many classes. It gets challenging for them to even have a life outside of school and damages their mental health. 

I myself had a dilemma this year when choosing classes for next school year. I wanted to take every opportunity I could get, but knew that I had to be reasonable. Taking too many difficult classes would mean that I wouldn’t be able to focus on any of them, leading to less success overall. The truth is, it’s okay to slow down, and do only what you’re comfortable with. 

Another example is learning a new skill. 

Recently in my life, I took on a lot of new things. One of them was learning how to play the piano. In the early stages of learning, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well and get good at the skill quickly. I had always wanted to play the piano like a professional, and ended up taking on too much when I pushed myself to play at that level. 

Luckily, soon after that, I realized that it was okay to take it slow. I needed to focus on the process, even if that meant I would see results slower. I knew it would be much more rewarding if I gave myself the time to learn and made a commitment to learning how to play. 

The key to productivity is taking on less and giving yourself more time. In the beginning, it might seem like you’re not getting anywhere, but your work will pay off in the long run, and you’ll have enjoyed the process a lot more. 

So next time you feel that stress coming on- where you feel like you have an obligation to do more than what’s possible and healthy, don’t push your limits. Stop, take a deep breath, and think about what’s feasible. What will make you happy? And, what will put you at ease?