Monday’s Meditation: On The New Definition Of Productivity

April 20, 2015

Why you're already a more productive person than you realized you were.

The more I think about, the more I believe there is no one straightforward definition of productivity. Productivity in the traditional sense means working; producing. It means cranking out the materials that earn you the dollars with a focus that makes it obvious to anyone what you’re engaged in.

But productivity also means “giving rise to.” Just as the spring is the result of all that has occurred in winter, sometimes productivity doesn’t announce itself as such. Sometimes, in fact, productivity looks a lot like relaxation and self-care, acts that ultimately give rise to rich and tangibly produced work.

To move our lives forward, it is essential that we remain productive. Essential, too, that we broaden our understanding of what qualifies as productivity to include all righteous, healthy efforts that support our wellbeing and the fulfillment of our calling. With this perspective, we see that sleep is one of the most productive acts we engage in, since a good night’s sleep is what gives rise to all the work and efforts produced the following day.

It is, like all things in life, a fluid relationship of producing: work produces the need for rest and play; rest and self-care produces efficient, impactful work.

We need both kinds of productivity, and we need a balance between the two. If either one takes priority over the other, we can begin to feel disconnected and lost.

When we overwork ourselves, neglect self-care, forget to stop and recharge our physical and spiritual batteries, not only does our work suffer, but we begin to feel disconnected from ourselves–from the quiet truth within us.

And when we spend too much time playing, when we neglect our responsibilities longer than is wise, or at least, normal, we begin to feel disconnected from our work, from our purpose, from our sense of usefulness in the world.

Only you can know what is productive for you in this moment. It doesn’t matter what it may look like to someone else, if it’s the act that is truly needed most now for you to be your best self, it is productive.

On Saturday mornings I try my very hardest to sit on my couch and not move for a while. I watch youtube videos about makeup and skincare (shout out to the beauty gurus!) and eat my steel cut oats. I keep my hood up and my long socks on and my earbuds in for as long as I can before the need to run around and do the things overtakes me. For a highly productive person, this self-sanctioned time for laziness sans guilt or anxiety is essential. It’s productive.

Not moving on Saturday mornings is what helps to fuel my efficiency the rest of the week.

For those who work in an office, it’s possible that the lines between work hours and non-work hours are more clearly defined, although in this technological age I doubt it. But for those of us who own our own companies, who work from home and so on, there is no ruling between open and closed, off and on.

This means that any time of any day is the right time to do what’s needed most, whether that’s a pedicure or a blog post or a phone call to a friend or a load of laundry or a legal brief.

Drive the wedge forward that will move for you. When you feel yourself losing traction, drive forward another. So long as you keep moving forward with love for self and others you’re already a success.

Leave a Comment

Other Posts You May Love

Leave a Comment


Search The Blog

Simplify Your World

Sign up for the email list to get inspiration and simplified tips sent right to your inbox.

On Pinterest



Other Posts You May Love