I’ve been in a productivity slump for the last three weeks. For some reason, I’m struggling to maintain my normal level of professional performance, and I haven’t yet found a solution.

This productivity slump isn’t too concerning—even if I can’t work my way through it, it’ll pass soon. Besides, human performance waxes and wanes, and there’s only so much we can do to avoid slumps. We’re not robots. Which brings me to my main point, one that may sound a bit woo-woo but is pragmatic at heart:

As I navigate this slump, I’m striving to keep my frustration about my lack of productivity walled-off from my sense of self-worth.

When we have high standards for ourselves in some dimension of our lives, we sometimes link our self-worth to our high performance in that area. This is problematic for two reasons, one philosophical and one practical:

  1. Each of us has innate worth simply by virtue of being human.
  2. When our performance suffers, it drags down our sense of self-worth, too. Now, we have to fix our performance and pull ourselves out of the emotional dumps.

Life is beautiful, but it’s also tough. You are more than your performance, so give your self-worth some shelter from the storm.