Being Productive With A Physical Disability

I used to binge-watch productivity videos like I would never get sick of them. However, I have recently come to a realisation — while a lot of these videos have things that a practical (some of which I have found useful), there is one thing that I have never seen taken into account: energy.

Now I don’t mean not being motivated, I am talking about physical energy.

Before we go any further, it is important you know about the spoon theory.

The Spoon Theory

Because I have a disability, I only have a limited amount of energy. This translates to only have a limited number of spoons. Doing too much in one day can cause me to feel short for the next day. This also works in reverse, before COVID-19 when I would attend a comedy festival trip, I would spend a few days saving my spoons up so that I have extra reserves.

Image from Shutterstock

So — How does this relate to being productive?

For all the planning I can do so I have the productive day I dream of, my body can totally decide to call a mayday.

In fact, somedays I start work and feel fine — I feel I am going to have a productive day… then… my energy drains in an instant. I have had to stop work and change where I am working so I can redirect my energy and not having to use it to hold myself up because I am in the chair.

The YouTuber Effect

Take one of my favorite YouTuber’s, Ali Abdaal, I love his videos and my thoughts that follow are totally on me, and not a slight against him.

I want to watch more of his videos, I am still subscribed. However; over the past few months, I have noticed something interesting. Though I would get a lot out of it, I find myself feeling guilty because I could never get to the level of productivity that I want. Not because I don’t want to, but because of my physical disability.

That is really what I dislike about the productivity movement. It seems like that no matter how productive you are that you can always do more. Yet, it is never taken into account whether the person is physically not able to push themselves.

For me — I know it is a balancing act that I continue to walk the wire.

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