On lifting the burden of productivity
“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” Thomas Edison.
I hope my email finds you well, enjoying the evening, with a lot of curiosity and eagerness to live the life’s adventure.
It’s been a while since last time I wrote you. Loads of time for relaxation, meditation and more importantly, wonder.
I would like to share with you some lessons that I learnt while I’ve been to Romania and I made big wonderful changes in my personal life. I hope you’ll find them interesting to read and maybe will make you a bit more curious about the concept of being present and engaged in living your life.
1. Time Management is DEAD
The idea that we will ever manage our time, is very wrong. Somewhere along the line, the game changed. We now live in an age of constant connection and information overload. We are bombarded with new information inputs – and from different several sources at the same time – in a way that would have been staggering co comprehend even ten years ago. Today the archaic systems of ‘to do lists’ and ABC priority systems are overrated. We are buried under 24-7 emails, social media, voicemails, instant messages, texts, conference calls, collaboration tools and of course, the burden of staying connected. Ever got to 5pm, 6 pm, or even the end of the day and you’re still staring at a full to do list, wondering where the day went? Well, that’s it. The truth is that “Time Management is DEAD”.
Quite apart from the ever increasing volume of information in our work, there are so many other reasons why time management theories of old no longer cut it. Work is more complex now, our roles are less defined, the work itself more free-flowing: the emphasis is less on rigid management hierarchies and more on each member of the team taking personal responsibility – the pace of communication has increased dramatically and we’re expected to reply or at least be ‘in the loop’ constantly. Working hours are becoming longer and more flexible, catering to the needs of working parents as well as colleagues across continents. All of this means you have to come to terms with one important thing:
2. You will never get everything finished
The completion of the ‘to do list’ is indeed very satisfying. This satisfaction naturally gives way to clear space. Psychologically, clear space helps provide perspective, a brief recovery from the frenetic pace of life and time to re-evaluate our priorities.
The trouble is, the modern work paradigm gives us so little sense of completion or clear space that it feels like we’re constantly straining to see the light at the end of a long, long tunnel. And when the light at the end of the tunnel finally approaches, you realize it’s just some nasty bloke with a torch bringing you more work to do.
For unfinished tasks, there is a solution, of course – Decision making. The art of decision-making, our ability to make space for the ‘quality thinking time’ we need, how do we react on our gut instincts (especially when such time for thinking isn’t available) defines us at work.
3. Is better to be Response-able than to be responsible
We live in a fast-paced world. Our personal efficiency depends on how quickly do we react to change. Is not about just realizing that things are changing, but actually digesting, understanding and responding with an appropriate action.We all know that the more people get paid or achieve, the more responsible they are. But simply being ‘responsible’ these days, isn’t enough. As society we value those who are comfortable with positions of responsibility, but we rarely explore responsibility as something proactive and dynamic. Yet, being in a position of responsibility usually also means ‘influence’. The nature of responsibility is that it should also bring reward- the ability to make an impact, create wealth and success for your organization, for society, for your family and for you. By viewing responsibility as inherently troublesome, we view it as the price to be paid for its success. We see it as a trade off.
To be response-able means you have the ability to define in the moment the actions you need to take to overcome and enjoy any new challenges. To be response-able therefore means to be: response-able now (develop new habits so that you’re proactively looking for ways to respond,rather than to avoid tasks and defer) response-able later (setting up systems so that you will know what your next move will be on any given project) response-able in crises (easy ways to respond when is a moment of crises and to ensure full focus on the job at hand)
4. Lifting the burden of productivity offers freedom
I love productivity, I simply love when I finish my ‘to do list’ when I add things and I easily find solutions to any situation that will arise. But, do you ever realize that you spent time in a job where you then wonder, a year later, what happened during that year?
That is what defines to live with the burden of productivity.
Insight – change your state everyday by simply looking around you. Different ways of looking around you, it offers you new things. this novelty, this way of living in wonder, creates space for us to enjoy life.
What’s interesting about the productivity dogma is that we live in a culture where we worship work ethic — by a very narrow definition — as some sort of this grand virtue. And we define it as showing up, day after day after day. But I often think that that’s the surest way to full ourselves into a kind of trance of passivity, where we show up but we’re absent from our own lives. And I think one of the most beautiful things you do is you show how we can be present in our own lives.
I wish you a week of wonder, novelties and moments that will remain memorable 🙂
Elite Vision Coaching
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