Do you often feel an insane amount of pressure to be productive, to make the most of your time and prove to people that you’ve used your time wisely? I feel you.

Especially during quarantine times, you’ve likely been inundated with motivational quotes, wellbeing posts, and all those articles about the thousands of new exercise regimes, hobbies and side-hustles that you should be taking up now that you suddenly have all those extra time on your hands. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re feeling kind of overwhelmed or just down-right frustrated by it all. You are not alone. 

In this episode, I am going to be talking about all about Productivity Pressure and why it has got to go.

This podcast is for YOU, so if you ever have any questions you’d like me to answer on the show, or topics you’d like me to cover – reach out to me on email here or over on instagram @eleanorhadley


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Episode Transcript

Hey there Beautiful. Welcome to Episode 12 of The Sensuality Academy Podcast. 

Who else has been feeling an insane amount of pressure during this whole quarantine to make the most of their time?

I am going to hazard a guess that you feel inundated with motivational quotes, wellbeing posts, and all those articles about the thousands of new exercise regimes, hobbies and side-hustles that you should be taking up now that you suddenly have all those extra time on your hands. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re feeling kind of overwhelmed or just down-right frustrated by it all. You are not alone. 

In this episode, I am going to be talking about all about Productivity Pressure and why it has got to go. 

So, ever since the stay-at-home orders came into place to varying degrees all around the world, it seems like businesses have gone into panic mode. Many Fitness studios have moved online and as well as different types of industries all clamoring to stay in business somehow. 

And, I get it. I am a business owner as well and I know what it’s like to pay hefty rental bills and try to make ends meet in a business. A huge part of the reason why I sold my previous physical business, my Pole Dancing Studio, was the freedom to operate anywhere, any time, rather than paying close to $100,000 rent each year. 

And, with this sudden end, unprecedented Worldwide shift that has led to alot of us being stuck at home. The pressure to “stay busy” and be productive has gotten louder than ever. 

You might have seen all the memes. You know, the quotes talking about how you now have all the time to do those projects you have been putting off. Things like, if you don’t come out of quarantine with a new skill, your side hustle started or more knowledge. You never lacked time, you lacked discipline. These kinds of things are really, really damaging and I have heard so many of you, share with me that you find these inspirational memes and quotes to be downright frustrating. 

We live in a capitalist, patriarchal world that values doing, producing, making money and winning above all else. 

What’s happening now, during this great pause, is we’re seeing the old outdated structures are crumbling. The old way of doing things, and operating the world and living our lives is no longer working for us. So, something has to give. But, because we are used to valuing our worth using productivity as a matrix, many of us have rushed into go-go-go mode. We’ve rushed from go-go-go mode in our regular lives going to work and doing a variety of activities to go-go-go mode in our homes. Trying to find hobbies and projects to keep busy and essentially what we are doing is reaching outside of ourselves externally to validate ourselves and how we are spending our time. 

I find that being busy is so often seen as a sign of achievement. When people ask how you are, you say “I’ve been so busy” and they reply “that’s good”. And, most of the time, this busyness is just a distraction from doing the real work of looking inside and checking in with our own feelings. 

This is why so many people are now realising that they never really liked their jobs that much and they are rediscovering old passions they have left slip. And I think this is a really beautiful part of all of this. This great big pause where people are if they choose to take the time to check in with themselves and realise these kinds of things. 

But, this focus and pressure to keep busy and to be productive during a pandemic is really detrimental for those who are feeling all the feelings and trying to just get through this crazy time. 

We don’t need people telling us that we need to write a book and lose weight and learn a new language, all these different things are great – not necessarily the losing weight thing, I have faults on that but you know what I mean, this focus on achieving something, coming out of quarantine like “look what I did”, “look how I spent my time”. That is not what this is about. And considering that we also have to remember that a lot of people don’t have a sudden amount of spare time. A lot of people are busier than ever, because now they are having to work from home while also homeschooling kids, something like that. 

Now, I intended to do this episode a few weeks ago or more, towards the start of the lockdown. It was something that I recognised as a pattern in my own life and lives of my clients. And I thought I should do an episode about it. Now, I put it on ice because I was succumbing to productivity pressure and I thought I should do all the things, all the things, all the things, as a business owner you just want to be as useful as possible and you want to be of service to your students and your clients. But, at the same time I needed to recognise that I needed time and space to simply be as well. 

So, I took my own advice which is what I am going to share with you today. 

Now, at the start of the lockdowns I observed everyone around me, myself included, grasping for things to do in isolation. Whether that be the sudden onslaught of daily meditations and live streams on Instagram, Cooking classes, Dance classes, Painting classes. Zoom call after Zoom call with Friends. Whether it was a targeted ad saying I should write a book or start a new business, and on and on and on. 

I know, I felt this pressure to suddenly take up brand new hobbies. Despite already working from home and running my business which takes up a lot of time as it is. All the sudden, I felt this heavy weight and pressure and expectation to do more. And, I fell into it for a little while. I spent a couple of weeks thinking, oh yeah, I am going to wake up and do that class, and this class and I’m going to buy a couple of these books and I’m going to workout every single day. Adding to what I already did. I had these ads saying, learn a new language – I was like “cool, I need to keep going with my spanish and I had all these different things that I thought I should do. All these hobbies that I suddenly wanted to pick up. And this is where it is important to recognise that what we are doing that serves us and honours us versus what we are doing to tell people that we have been doing x, y and z or to feel validated in some way. I will speak about that a little more. 

When I was speaking with my clients and my friends at the start of the lockdowns, many were feeling it too. Suddenly, a lot of people had been sent home and were not sure what to do with their days. If they weren’t working a job they didn’t really like and spending nights out with friends, what were they meant to do now, how would they entertain themselves? And so, we all looked outside, externally, for things to pass the time. And in my case, I got burnt out, I got overwhelmed by doing, doing. And so I stopped. 

The problem is that our value in life is so often linked to how much we do, what we create, how much we make and what can you tangibly show me what you have done with your time? If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. That kind of language, that kind of expectation. 

I was speaking to client about this today, we are currently about 2 and a half months into our coaching series together, and she is a total dream client, she is the kind of client who has been showing up fully in each session, doing the deep mindset in between reflecting, practicing all the exercises that I am sending her, she is going ‘all-in’. And despite this, she admitted today that she felt uncomfortable when she people asked what she had been doing during isolation. And she told me that, before our call today, that she needs to learn more, or study more, or do something. She said that the discomfort with sharing with others what she was doing was that it was all inner work and she didn’t have anything tangible to show for her time. Here lies the problem, despite her spending so much time getting to know herself, doing deep inner work and healing and cultivating a relationship with herself and her pleasure, she didn’t have that tangible thing to say she completed this, I achieved this. And as cheesy as it sounds, often we need to remember that we are human-beings and human-doings. We spend so much time striving and trying to validate ourselves by the things we have achieved and most often these are tangible, externally focussed achievements. Things that bring us money, fame, power or for others to think she is good enough. It comes from deep internal distrust, or self-doubt where we don’t feel good enough and we have to look for external validation. 

When I told her today was that often when we are assuming this person is going to think about this about me, it’s (1) not true (2) it’s simply our projection of ourselves, when are concerned that someone is lazy or selfish because in isolation we have been spending our time journaling, meditating reflecting and doing all these beautiful self work and if we are concerned they are going to think we are lazy, we are selfish. It’s often not about them, it’s often entirely about you. There’s a way of looking at this, it’s like you can find little clues really about ourselves. If that is what we assume what people are thinking about us, we reflect that back onto ourselves, basically, we are saying ‘I feel lazy, I feel selfish’ or ‘I am scared of seeming this way’ and it comes down to lack of permission and giving ourselves space and time to honour ourselves and do that internal work. 

When did we forget the importance and power of simply being? Why do we need to prove our worth with external achievements? 

Having said all of this? I want to encourage you to take time, if you do have it, to spend it in the most nourishing way possible. 

I am a huge advocate for self enquiry and self reflection. I think that of all the work you can do in this world, the inner work is the most important. It is from here where you can learn about yourself more and discover your true passions and then be able to use these to make the world a better place. 

So, I was thinking about this episode today and I thought I should offer some tips of what to do, if you are feeling this pressure to be productive. And I realised that was a total oxymoron, I am not going to give you a list of things to do. Of course, I always encourage you to do the inner self work and I am always here if you need support, if you want to explore your sensuality if you choose to do something that feels very nourishing, if that feels good to you that’s what I am here for but I don’t for a minute want you to feel like you have to do x, y and z to feel worthy and “made the most” of your time in quarantine. 

You’re likely experiencing a lot of emotions right now from sadness, grief, loss to fear and anger and uncertainty and then maybe even some relief and some joy which I do hope you are feeling and a total reimagining of your life. 

I want you to know that it’s ok to feel and let yourself feel. It is the best thing for everyone right now. If you have been feeling this deep pressure to be productive during this time, I want you to remember that this is a global fuckin’ pandemic and you do not have to come out of quarantine having achieved a million things. 

If all you did was get by, then that’s beautiful. I congratulate you for that. I hope that this has been helpful and soothed you in some way or another. Remember that any time you see or feel this pressure to be productive, remember your worth, your value, is not tied to your productivity in any way, shape or form.

You have got this and I am here if you need any support from me at all. 

That’s all from me, for this episode, I am sending you so much love and I will speak to you next time. 

Let me know your thoughts!


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The Sensuality Academy Podcast - Episode One
The Sensuality Academy Podcast - Episode One
The Sensuality Academy Podcast - Episode One

hi, I’m Eleanor

It is my mission to redefine modern day sensuality and what it means to be a sensual being.

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