I’ve noticed a couple of different things related to productivity. First off, initiative and energy starts first thing in the morning. It begins with the very first thought you have: “Here’s another day” or “Today is going to be amazing!” Next, what are some things you do right when you wake up: write, walk, read an inspirational chapter in a book, practice yoga, or gulp a cup of coffee and rush out the door? If you claim not to have enough “time” for yourself in the morning, the right thing to do is wake up 30 minutes to an hour early. For some, switching their sleep cycle is a big deal and loosing sleep is not an option. Sparing some shut eye to feed your mind positive thoughts and open your body up to move in natural (touching soil, breathing deeply, dancing) and non-mechanical (driving, typing, turning knobs, flicking light switches) ways are the first two keys to your productivity.
Not having a plan can deter you from creating valuable experiences, achieving your goals and living your dreams. Your plan is your vision. Once you know what you want you can begin to set up action steps towards reaching your goal. If you’re inspired, hours will fly by as you immerse yourself in your project or task. Sometimes, it is much harder to turn the computer on, get into a mind set of making phone calls or getting some work done. In such a scenario, I’ve noticed that sheer will can break through such a block. Will is created with intention and clear focus. Just focus on ONE thing. Even if that thing is seemingly small like writing an email or bigger like writing an article, just do that one thing. This action opens up a rewarding feeling and frees you of any negative feelings you would house otherwise for not feeling productive. Afterwards, you are free to read your book, bake a cake, meet a friend for some tea or whatever! Things that are important to you deserve your time and even if you’re not in the mood to work or get things done, make your list and set an intention, focusing on getting at least ONE of those things done!
Mindfulness helps you to understand your relationship with productivity. If you have things you need to get done or that you are working on, ask yourself:
Am I inspired?
Do I know the effect or impact my work is having?
Am I enjoying myself?
If you have a negative feeling or resistance attached to your task like: guilt, resentment, lack of inspiration, forcefulness, fear, recognize that those are all valid emotions and they don’t make you more or less of who you are. You are human, so you have every right to these feelings. It is important to try and understand what you’re feeling and where the feelings are coming from. For example, if you tend to feel guilty when you’re not being productive, ask yourself what productivity means to you: money, helping others, creating meaningful experiences, expressing your creativity, feeling good physically. There is a myriad of ways one can “feel” productive. This is a good feeling, so we are after it. Why, then, do you feel bereft of “something” if you have not managed to get that feeling? At some point, you began to believe that you were not enough. Anyone that feels guilty over not being in a mode of production has, through past experiences, acquired feelings of worthlessness, insufficiency and fear. A resistant feeling like “guilt” is a road sign, letting you know that it is time to connect with yourself and figure out the truth behind your feelings. If on the other hand you’re feeling overworked, you might have acquired the exact same false belief, but it is manifesting through an extreme preoccupation with your job and too much work.
Life is super busy. There’s always something going on. In a way, a busy life keeps us feeling worthy, productive and entertained. What happens when we’re left alone, no one’s calling and there’s nothing left to do? Some revel in this time reading books, shopping, watching a film, doing a creative or personal project, meeting with friends or undertaking hobbies. What we choose to do with this time has a large impact on your psyche and well being. It is up to you to decide what you “need” at a given moment by checking in with how you feel. But know that nothing, no matter what it is, when done in excess will come to serve your well-being. Productivity is a state of mind which is cultivated by your awareness, non-resistance (not just to the task, but also to yourself), positive self-focus and expansion.