CRPL Logo on a navy background. Logo is gold rings intertwining, reminiscent of a wheel. Next to it are the letters CRPL in white

Issue #50

How To Not Savour a Milestone

John Loeppky

April 4, 2024

An illustration of a home on the edge of a lake. The style is comfy and cartoony with hues of orange, purple, and red.
The least stereotypical “reflection” photo I could find/Steven Batty from Pixabay

Reflection is Sometimes Kind

I hit a business milestone today, a pretty large one that I’m not quite ready to talk about yet. That’s right , this is the daily newsletter version of a YouTube video that teases a big announcement except that, instead of a new Mr. Beast Project or a new Marvel movie, it’s announcement about one disabled freelance journalist’s list of clients. 

But I’ve sent a number of emails this week where I’ve shared articles that I’ve written recently, like these ones for CBC, that I’m extremely proud of. I’m doing a ton of reporting that feels very full circle, lots of para-sport, health, tech; local, national, and international. Truly, the works.

I am painfully bad at both self promotion (outside of a business context) and celebration. The more I think about it, the more tackling that particular challenge is part of cripping productivity. One of the dangers of the treadmill (yes, I’m using a walking metaphor here) of mainstream productivity advice is that it provides almost no time for meaningless self reflection. I don’t mean meaningless in the sense of it not having value, I mean meaningless in the sense that it isn’t tied to some kind of action. When productivity gurus talk about a daily shut down or a weekly review, what they’re really asking you to do is hyper analyze your productivity. In that moment, you’re not celebrating, you’re doing the productivity version of whataboutism.

That’s natural and yet, I’d argue, not necessary. What if we chose one win a week that had nothing to do with productivity? I celebrated my journalism, sure, but I also re-set up my nice microphone so that I can up how professional I seem. I reorganized my desk, I made a good dinner, I ended most work days this week at a reasonable hour.

Do you notice what I did there? Outside of perhaps my mention of my supper (garlic pork noodles, if you’re curious) each and every one of those small pieces of reflection were somehow connected to productivity. So, I think, for those of us who are prone to overthinking this, we need to resort to asking ourselves a fairly blunt question: what is the least productive, yet still enjoyable, thing I/you did today?

For me, that was convincing my puppy to come back into the house. It was just a small moment of connection between me and my stubborn dog, the other one who was at home today is stubborn but also old enough to know that she has met her match in terms of how I exist as a human.

So, that’s my challenge for you today: to take a step on the unproductive side of life.

Until tomorrow!


Want to Support More Disability-led Writing?

I've decided to shift CRPL to a 5 times a week newsletter about productivity as I am fascinated by the topic, am in the early stage of writing a book about it, and want to have a place to think, and write, and create work about this vital area of thinking. Click below to join the daily newsletter and/or to help financially support this project.