The Difference Between Inward and Outward Productivity and Why You Should Incorporate Both into Your Day.

If you haven’t heard much about inward productivity, let me introduce you to this amazing concept.

Before I dive into what inward productivity is, let’s talk about outward productivity. Essentially, outward productivity is what others can see. It’s the result of your actions and the completion of tasks. It could be something like finishing a report at work, taking the kids to school, taking your dog for a walk or taking out the rubbish. These are the tasks we often have on our to do lists and are expected by others to do. It’s the tasks that benefit others and ourselves.

Inward productivity is what you do to take care of yourself and recharge. It’s similar to a self-care routine in which you do activities which make you feel good. It could be practicing yoga, reading a book, watching TV, playing a computer game or exercising. It’s taking a step back from being super busy and focusing on yourself.

As an example, my partner Jesse likes to use his inwardly productive time to play computer games. When we have full days, he’ll let me know that he’s going to take some time to be inwardly productive and just unwind. For me, I like to use my inwardly productive time to practice yoga, have a bath or read a book. I’ll also do some cooking or go for a walk on days when I feel like moving my body or making some meals which is something I find relaxing.

If you’re in a relationship, I’d suggest having a conversation with your other half and creating space for each of you to have your inwardly productive time. You may refer to this as your ‘me time’ or ‘relax time’ but regardless of what you call it, give yourselves and each other permission to have this time without guilt. My partner and I have let each other know when we want to be inwardly productive and we respect this time. When Jesse wants his inwardly productive time, I’ll give him space and entertain our dog so he isn’t distracted. He also does the same for me when I’m reading, doing yoga, having a bath or even when I go on a stay cation or road trip by myself.

If you’re not in a relationship and you live alone or with others, it’s still important that you give yourself permission to have some inwardly productive time. If you can’t schedule time in daily, then aim for once a week at the start and build up from there. It isn’t there to be a chore or a burden, it is there to help you recharge, stay grounded and feel good.

The reason why both are important and have their place is because it’s important to find balance in your day. I know balance is a word that is often overused – especially when it comes to the idea of attaining the quintessential work-life balance but the kind of balance I’m talking about is subjective. Think of how much time you need to recharge compared to how much you are actually getting currently.

When we don’t allow ourselves to be inwardly productive, we can edge closer to becoming burnt out. We cannot be outwardly productive every minute of the day – not long term at least. Being inwardly productive enables you to rest and recharge so when you do show up each day, you can give it your best.

What is one outwardly and inwardly productive thing you want to do today? If you’d like to share, please write a comment.

Main photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.

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