Living, Working

My 100th Post… and Why I’m Allowing Myself to Get Back Into “Productivity”

August 15, 2011

A while back I wrote about my obsession with productivity and how it wasn’t doing it for me anymore. Since then, I’ve continued on a more creative, less productivity path. This requires a lot of riding my bike around the neighborhood and gluing pictures into a notebook. My planner only appeared again when the new job kicked in, lifting me up in a wave of activity.

With Mercury Retrograde and all attempts to slow down, reassess, and feel the rhythm of this new chapter of my life, I find it interesting that I’m gravitating right back to productivity. This has Pros and Cons.

Pros = feeling organized, calm, productive and in control.

Cons show up with the pressures to “whip myself into shape” and measure myself against some standard that not only is unhealthy, but does not exist. I repeat, does not exist.

I used to look to productivity resources for answers to questions like, “What should I do with my life?” and “How can I not feel like shit every day?”. The answers do not lie in books, especially the kind that tell you to do a brain dump or sharpen the saw. Granted, these are useful tools, it’s just I was bringing a chainsaw to cut a birthday cake.

What I needed was an anti-hack. As Clay Collins writes in the link, I didn’t need to optimize myself, I needed to be fundamentally reconfigured.  There’s lots of way to do this. I did it through therapy – I literally talked myself into being, the way a storyteller conjures up a tale. I learned to listen to myself, to feel my feelings, to know what is good for my soul and what is disastrous (read: more beach, less “have tos”).

But my new job requires a lot of organization from me – I’m literally creating the position, planning major events and dealing with daily admin work. It’s much more than I’ve ever been responsible for and it’s thrilling! A year ago, I would’ve floundered but the past year primed me for this new stage. It’s awesome.

So I know I need the tools. My hope is that I’m coming from a new place of maturity, self-worth and purpose. I don’t expect these tools to make me feel better. They’re there to help me track my projects and accomplishments, but I’m the one in charge of my peace of mind, always.

 

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