- You have to do more.
Here is the truth behind productivity that no productivity guru wants to tell you. You do not have to do more to be productive. You do not have to add more all the time. Sometimes, the beauty is in taking away, shedding what no longer serves you.
Productivity is a feeling. You FEEL productive, when you do things that are aligned with what you want in life. You don’t feel productive when you are endlessly producing and have no time to feel.
Think back to a super productive day – the last time you felt like a warrior and felt good (not drained). What did you do that day? I suspect it was something you love doing or something that brought you closer to a big goal of yours.
When you are engaging in activities that are aligned, you feel happy – that’s productive.
Productivity for each person is different too. Someone may find organizing their emails in folders to be productive while another sees a walk that inspires ideas as productive.
It does not mean you do more. It means you do more of what sets your soul on fire.
o Do-Lists are the ONLY Way to be Productive
Ignore the list! Yes, I said it.
Ignore the list because it is the one thing holding you back from inspired action.
Many people who abide by lists actually use them to compulsively check things off NOT to do things that actually matter.
How many of you have added something to your list you already finished in order to feel better?
Here is the alternative option which is truly productive: Work with your inspiration – don’t ignore it. Something that happens a lot, because I’m very linear, logical, and data driven, is that I will often make my lists in advance and not go with my gut. So, when a spark of inspiration comes from my soul, I won’t have time for it. I will tell myself that it is not on the list.
I’ve come to learn that in the past I viewed inspiration as distraction when in reality it’s like the universe saying hey – this might be something that you need to explore.
I read somewhere that those nudges you get that excite you are nudges from the universe – capture those and act those out. Those are most likely going to make you the most fulfilled and happy.
3. Taking Days Off Puts You Behind
This is a big one that really grinds my gears. We are told that you can take vacations, but we are also given a load of work to come back to when we do take days off. A lot of work cultures will glorify the frantic email box after a vacation.
So, what do us high achievers do? We don’t take enough days off out of fear of not doing enough.
Here is my encouragement for you on how to ACTUALLY be productive: Optimize your feel good days and rest on those not so good days. Take days off but truly rest on them. When you’re working, truly work without distractions.
The most productive people I know do not ignore rest days. On the contrary, those people rest like a fiend when it is rest time and work like a fiend when it is work time. They do not blur those boundaries.
Finally, achievers can get very caught up in the guilt over taking a day off just because they want to (without a “valid” reason). However, some days you are on top of the world and can do a lot of stuff. Other days you don’t feel so good and cannot. Follow your body and listen to it. The quicker you honor what it needs, the more productive you will be.
I wish I learned this sooner – If you actually rest, you bounce back. If you don’t actually rest, burnout is around the corner.
When you start working with yourself like this you’re going to realize that you get just as much done, if not more done. You’re not beating yourself up on your bad days and not forcing yourself to rest when you have more energy.
4. It has to be hard.
Do you subscribe to the belief that in order to feel like you’ve accomplished something, it has to be a grind? It has to feel hard? When did we decide success was difficult?
I know for me I can get very caught up in the belief that to win means I pushed, I forced, I exerted. I think this comes from the masculine energy – the ideal that the strongest, fiercest warrior survives. The truth is that this mentality is repelling success. It is actually perpetuating an unhappy lifestyle in many of us.
Success can be easy and fun. If you are doing things that bring you joy, you will feel good. You will feel productive. That is not hard.
So there you have it – four big myths we perpetuate about productivity that just don’t hold their weight when examined in real life. And I want to leave you with one last thing: YOU know best. not the gurus.
Trust yourself and you’ll be shocked by the power you unleash.
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