Thursday, August 13, 2009

Measuring Productivity

One of the 'greatest hits' that plays in my head is that I'm not productive enough. It's a rare occasion when I feel like I've had a 'home run day'. Why is this? How do you measure your level of productivity? Do you keep a check-list of things to do each day....? And, if you accomplish everything does it qualify your day (OR YOU) as productive? I've tried lists to no avail. As a coach, you can imagine .....I've kept lists, charts, dream boards, diaries, journals and so on..... all of which have and continue to keep me focused and moving forward. However, they don't necessarily serve to help me feel productive. That said, I do notice that it's on a much less frequent basis that I take the time to reflect on my accomplishments.... and even when I do I have a committee in my head always ready to chime in with something like "yeah, haven't done xyz or abc...." Clearly there I have a drive to get *there*, which inevitably keeps me on the hamster wheel, running hard to keep up!

So, I ask, "what is it to be productive?" And, furthermore, how is this to be measured? Actually, the REAL question is "what is it to be enough?" If I truly felt enough, then I believe that this feeling of 'lack' would dissipate. Feeling ill-productive is believing that something is missing - right? So, what's missing?!! A good friend pointed out to me that this nagging sense of feeling unproductive is really negative thinking and fruitless. And, the way to counteract this is to turn it around to gratitude, appreciation and truth (where I really spent my time). I am so accustomed to being hard on myself and holding the bar extremely high, that I fail to see how destructive these thoughts are.... not to mention the enormous amount of energy they suck from me!

I'm sitting at the cafe right now watching all these fabulous people sitting, chatting, laughing, engaging, reading the paper and enjoying themselves. Can this be measured as being 'productive'? My impulse response to this question is no. Although, from a more spiritual perspective and with more thought, I change my mind to believe it IS 'productive'. People - we - I - need time to relax, laugh and enjoy myself because this is how I replenish myself and fuel my 'tank' to keep going. Just like a person cannot workout 24/7 at the gym. There has to be time in between of working out to rest, refuel with food and drink and give the muscle/s time to build. Right? So the time off from exercising is actually equally as productive as the workout itself.

I notice there are some people in my life who are fantastically skilled at resting and taking time out to enjoy themselves. And ironically, these are also the people I know who are very focused and thorough when they are engaged in work. It seems as though my definition of productivity (i.e. constant work and activity) needs to become more expansive and include times of play, creativity and rest. It all matters and it's ALL necessary to achieve my goal/s .... which, at the highest level is to create a balanced, fulfilling life!

And, furthermore, what I *produce* in a day, is NOT the measure of my self worth! OR YOURS!

Mantra for the day: "I am enough, I have enough, I do enough!"


1 comment:

  1. thanks for the reminders Nikki. something is definitely off when nothing is good enough. As long as I am working in my priorities it IS good enough.