Sunday, 20 January 2013

What one thing can I do today...

I've been thinking about productivity...about busy versus calm...about multi versus single tasking.  As an advocate for reading I've been examining what is really behind the statement "I just don't have time to read."  I'm noticing a shift in my beliefs and actions.  I used to think that juggling many balls was the best way to work, but this was leading to increased stress and the feeling of never having accomplished anything well enough. Possibly even more significant was the loss of enjoyment I was feeling arising from not living firmly, solidly and calmly in each moment.

Tim Kreider talks about being busy as a boast disguised as a complaint.  When he delves behind the real reasons we can begin to see people who are always busy with some compassion.

"Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness;obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day"

This does explain the choice of busyness in spite of all the research that has found it to be counter-productive.  It also highlights the place that confidence plays in standing up for a calmer way of working, especially in environments where busy is the organisational norm. I love this line in Sheila Heti's book How Should A Person Be?

"One good thing about being a woman is we haven't too many examples yet of what a genius looks like."

OK, so I can hear you complaining that there are lots of genius women out there, but I think there is something noteworthy in her sentiment about role models and being open to more conscious ways of working.

Cynthia Occelli  talks about being OK with not knowing all the answers, being OK with making mistakes and most importantly being OK with not getting things done that don't advance your goals.  She places a huge emphasis on prioritising the work which will be most beneficial for advancing your goals; in order to do that we have to have the confidence to set boundaries and say no.  We also have to persevere and endure by calmly and purposefully taking an action each and every day to get us closer to the goal that we want to  achieve.  The concept of small stones for the workplace.

So what one thing will you do today to move yourself closer towards your goal?

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