Productivity & Happiness
Updated: Jan 23, 2021
I have been thinking about what makes a person productive a lot lately. This started because I was falling into old patterns of harsh self judgement largely revolving around societies view of productivity and success. I was noticing so much resistance within myself when it came to checking off my “To-Do” list. I would dig in my heals, procrastinate and get to the end of my day irritated, angry with myself and hardly anything would be crossed off that damn list. Even everyday things I often complete with ease were met with resistance.
Yoga has taught me to meet resistance with neutrality and curiosity. So instead of falling into my old stories about what a failure I am because I can’t even get such and such done, I thought- Interesting. What does this resistance feel like? What happens if I lean into it? What happens if I sit in stillness with it? If I imagine this resistance as a tree growing in the forest of my heart, where do its roots rise from?
It was through spending time with my resistance and answering these questions that I realized my view of productivity has been terribly skewed. Our productivity should not be measured by the amount of to-dos we cross off our list but instead by the love in our hearts at the end of the day. The love we have shared with others and given to ourselves.
This doesn’t mean I can sit around, do nothing and call myself productive. That is not love. It does however mean that instead of viewing making my family dinner as one more to-do I can see it as a way of showing and sharing my love for them. It means that I can view sitting down to pay my bills or budget as a way I show myself and ultimately my family love because it keeps us from experiencing the negative consequences that may arise from not paying the bills. It means that I can feel ok about skipping out on laundry or cleaning the house to go on a walk or have an impromptu adventure with my kids because both of those things generate a love that will outweigh the cost of putting the others on pause.
I have long enjoyed this quote from Lao Tzu-“Nature never hurries and yet everything is accomplished.”
So it is that I have come to measure my productivity through love and not by how much I accomplish. As it turns out this view makes me a much happier person.
Blessings for Love and Peace,