Week 2: Your relationship to work & productivity
Jan. 30-Feb. 5
Welcome to Week 2 of Creative Sparks. In Week 1, we looked at shadow patterns and the work it inspires. If you haven’t completed the Week 1 prompt or you’re just joining us, don’t worry! You can catch up or jump in now. Don’t let this be the thing that stops you from doing the challenge.
This week, it’s time for a bit of introspection.
Around this time of the year is when 64% of people who set new year’s resolutions quit. There’s a lot of pressure to drastically change at meaningful (to you) markers of time. This year will be different, we tell ourselves. And then we set absurdly high goals that are doomed to fail. If you don’t set a resolution or goal, you feel like you’re behind, which is not a good feeling to carry in the first month of the year. If it helps relieve some of this worry, only 38.5% of US adults will set a resolution for the year…so you’re not alone in this!
For this week’s creative prompt, we turn inwards to reflect on how we see work and productivity. Are they tied together in your mind? Do you need work and/or productivity to feel like you’ve accomplished something?
“Quiet quitting” has been in the news lately, as if meeting job description expectations was a bad thing. When did it become expected that you must go above and beyond to be considered a good worker? If anything, the recent tech layoffs—of workers that had been with the companies for long stretches of time—show how callous a company can be. Loyalty is demanded in one direction only.
Examples & directions to go:
If you were to be given a sustainable income and all your monetary needs taken care of, would you work? What would you do?
What does it mean to you to “do nothing”?
Examine and reflect on your self-care rituals. What does each one do for you?
Think about your upbringing: has your interpretation of work and productivity changed from childhood?
Mood board & inspiration:
Use the comments section below and the Chat feature in the app to discuss the prompt and post your creations!
The concept of work has always been difficult for me to think about. Presently, it is especially hard for me to think about due to being shaped by a significant period of time where it was unsafe to work in public.
It is societally acceptable to interrogate people about their work/career choices from a young age. Society conditions our minds to think about the type of work that we want to do for the rest of our lives. How this has become an acceptable practice is beyond me.
I grew up in a single-parent home where I saw my mom work all of her waking hours to keep my siblings and me alive. I want to embody the rest that she has never had. The rest that she has never taken. This means that I have strong boundaries when it comes to work. Especially as it seems that there are a lot of employers that expect their workers to do work outside of their given job descriptions – in both type and amount.
I learned within the context of academia that work is not only confined to the tasks that we do in exchange for money. Work is also the daily activities that occupy our time. This academic knowledge helped me to reframe the way that I perceive and engage in work and it became a priority of mine to establish a good work-life balance after I gained this knowledge Since, then, I have found it to be nearly impossible to achieve a work-life balance when daily life is so expensive.
I like to ponder the intangible results of our work - the emotional, spiritual and thoughtful gains that we make as we work. I try to take note of the work that makes me happy. There is a work that comes from my primal instincts and I like to indulge this work. I’m wired towards pleasure and desire to do work that creates pleasurable experiences for me.
Bedtime revenge has come to mind a lot recently. Bedtime revenge is when you push your planned bedtime to a later time so that you can enjoy the activities that you didn’t get to enjoy during the day – while you were working. I participate in bedtime revenge almost every day because I cannot accept that my paid work takes so much time – so much of my time. I’m practicing reclamation as bedtime revenge
-Erica Chadé (2/2/2023)
Took me a minute! I may end up reworking some of this, but I am pretty happy with it overall. ￼