These podcasts I’ve been listening to? These right here? They’re BLOWING MY MIND. As I listen to them, I take notes about things I want to remember, things that seem really powerful or relevant, and exercises I think would be helpful for me to work through.
I think it was this one (honoring your needs) that brought up productivity. I wrote down the exercise: What does it mean to be productive, and how can we shift it to honor our needs?
I was honestly ready to dismiss this prompt. I didn’t think it would be helpful. I know what productivity means. I know when I’m productive and when I’m not. Or do I? Here’s what happened when I wrote it all out:
What does it mean to be productive?
- meet deadlines
- finish tasks
- feel accomplished
- get “alot” done
- solve problems
- have something to show for my work; tangible results
Then I decided to look up the definition of productivity…
* large amounts
…where I saw the Latin origins…
[producing or giving rise to]
…and instead of going back through my bullet list to try and reframe each point, this is what happened:
How can I shift it to honor my needs?
As always seems the case lately, the answer is to break it down to its simplest form. It doesn’t have to be about deadlines and tasks. I don’t need to focus on quantifiable, significant in amount results.
Instead, I need to redefine productivity, quite literally, as the bringing forth of significance.
…the bringing forth of significance…
When I give rise to something, when I lift to the light something of meaning, it is then that I am productive.
Now, here, writing in the sun sipping the season’s first pumpkin spice latte… even though it’s still a little too warm for it… this is productive.
The moments I spend curled up with my husband or lying next to Evi as she wakes, smiles, hugs? Those are productive.
The minutes I’ll spend tonight painting my nails blue. The time I spend perfecting the formatting of a document and filling it with my thoughts. The texts and emails checking in on a friend.
Productive. Productive Productive.
Productivity, at it’s heart, is in the moments that matter. It’s in the work that creates meaning, the time devoted to making connections, the passion for a cause.
A hug, a smile, a stolen moment of quiet… these are not the thieves of my productivity. They are the banner carriers, the activists, the ardent representatives of my heart’s truest intentions. They are proof of my productivity, newly redefined for accuracy.