How Productive are You?
Very productive, probably. If so, to what end? How many to-dos must you check off your list each day to feel like you owned the day? Given a list of 15 things, how successful do you consider yourself if you only manage to accomplish half?
Productive is a subjective word, though. In a business setting, your productivity is most likely gauged by metrics set up by a partner, employer, manager, or supervisor. At home, you’re probably the deciding factor. Maybe the influence and expectations of your spouse and family factor into how productive you allow yourself to feel.
In a culture where many often rise before the sun begins to shine, we have been taught that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. If you’re still asleep at noon, you must be a lazy bum, right? No one considers that, as a night owl, you get more done in the midnight hours, while they’re fast asleep. If someone else is slaving away at a task, while you’re enjoying a TV show after a trying day, you’re not pulling your weight. Well, that’s what most people have been conditioned to believe.
Now, I am in no way advocating laziness or procrastination. I love rising early. I believe in doing what needs to be done. I believe in contributing. I believe in working together. It’s true that many hands make light work.
However, I think so many of us end up doing so much to say that we’re doing so much. None of us want to be viewed as lazy, no-accounts. We want the world, our world around us to know how busy we are, how much is on our plate, our desk. If we’re not constantly jumping from task to task, we aren’t “earning our keep.”
We wear our productivity, our big to-do lists, our way-full schedules, our busy-work as a badge of honor. We compare our days like we’re competing for some prize. If I was able to get more done today than you, then I guess that makes me a better person. We wear ourselves out achieving, proving ourselves, and earning invisible points. We tie our value and self-worth into productivity that hopefully leads to “success.”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with productivity. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel productive. Productivity helps us accomplish chores, reach goals, and make dreams a reality. However, when we become slaves to productivity there’s a problem. In all things, we should seek balance.
Whatever the pursuit, it’s important to understand your “why.” If you’re on a mission, it’s imperative to know who sent you. To what higher purpose is your pursuit tied? There’s only so much time in each day. Let’s be careful with and mindful of our life energy. Let’s make sure we know why we’re doing what we’re doing. Let’s make sure we understand that certain aspects can be changed or left out completely, any time we choose.
Thinking, brainstorming, creating, rejuvenating, nurturing connections, resting, and breathing can be our most productive, transforming pursuits. And you should never allow anyone to make you feel guilty, not even yourself.
Blessings and love,
Have you read my post called "What Do You Do Here?"