Productivity is hard.


My personality is an odd-blend of a lackadaisical, roll-with-it attitude and a hyper-type A need to be on top of things. I can’t necessarily explain why some situations call for a drive to over-prepare and some call for little-to-no preparation at all — all I can say is that it’s worked out thus far.

In fact, the best speeches and presentations I’ve ever given typically had very little preparation at all. In high school, I won awards for essentially “winging” extemporaneous speeches in forensics competitions. When the opportunity to move to Kansas City arose, I kind of said, “Sure, why not?”

how to be productive

And then there are situations like this week.

I’m preparing to leave for my first ever cruise and the longest vacation I’ve ever taken. I’m missing a WHOLE WEEK of work (*GASP*). On top of that, Josh and I have been subsisting on microwave meals and junk food for the last several weeks because of the holiday rush and the roller coaster weather.

Neither of us have cared much about home-cooking anything except comfort food. My waistline and my overall feeling of grossness tell me it’s time to get back on track.

So, on this lovely extra day off (a New Years gift from my employer), I’ve been ridiculously proactive about both the cruise and Josh’s and my nutrition for the week leading up to it.

“Just how productive have you been, Kelly?”

Vacation is 8 days out and I’ve already bought all the extra travel-size things we’ll need. I even bought us both loufas to take with and leave behind when we come home — a trick I learned from a spring break study abroad trip to Mexico. I picked up a few clearances athletic tank tops to wear while we hike the rainforests of Tulum. And now I’m — already — sorting laundry that needs to be washed AND NOT WORN AGAIN before the trip.

In regards to food, well…not only did I buy groceries for every meal for the next 8 days, but I also pre-prepped the fruits and veggies for every meal. Potatoes and carrots have been chunked up and put in a quart Ziplock bag marked for the roast chicken we’ll be having Sunday evening. Peppers and onions have been cut for fajitas. Tonight’s meal is completely prepped. Chicken breast is stuffed with four cheese (the main one being garlic chevre) and herbs, with a generous helping of roasted garlic Parmesan zucchini and summer squash on the side.

easy meal prep tips

Today, I’m working in Josh’s Star Wars-themed kitchen. It’s magnificent. And this is a sample of some of the work I knocked out in the kitchen today.

It feels good to be proactive and productive. It feels good to know that pretty much every meal for the next 8 days will be “plug and play” — very little prep required. But, extra days off in a busy schedule are rare, and it’s hard knowing that it’s unlikely this will ever become something I can regularly do.

Additionally, I think of all the things you’re “supposed” to do on a day off, and I wonder if I did it “wrong.” Should I have spent more time reading? Should I have taken a bubble bath? Was that long walk I took the dogs for this morning long enough?

The weirdest thing about this hyper-proactive day is that I actually, oddly, feel very fulfilled. Apparently running errands and then cutting up vegetables for two hours was exactly what I needed to.

Oh, and then I balanced my budget. And I actually enjoyed it.

It’s been a lovely, productive day.

Is…is this adulthood? Thought being productive wasn’t supposed to be this fun?

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