• Ariana Friedlander

Balancing the scales of productivity


Wow, October is here. It's hard to believe how time is marching on right now. Over the course of a day, I can experience a year's worth of emotions. And yet, it feels like everything is happening at a snail's pace. It could be because so many plans that were made have been abruptly abandoned or changed - it's like I'm perpetually starting from square 1.

I've had to make major course corrections so many times this year, I'm not even sure what version of my 2020 plan I am on right now. And I believe that the only predictable part of my life is the fact that I'll have to continue to be nimble and flexible.

At the same time, I feel a drive to make things happen. While life might not be going according to plan v. 1.0, there's still a deeper commitment I set for myself. With just 3 months left before the new year, I am determined to finish strong by seeing those commitments thru.

So, what does it mean to finish 2020 strong? 


I've learned that productivity is about more than just keeping busy. It's about aligning my efforts, prioritizing my tasks, focusing my attention and managing my time accordingly. 


Finishing strong is not just about getting more done, it's about swallowing the frog. It's about doing the thing I thought I couldn't do; staying true to myself while serving the greater good. 


In other words, I am the most qualified judge of my own efforts to finish 2020 strong. Just like you are the most qualified to evaluate if you've adequately succeeded at fulfilling your aspirations for this year (and note, your goals and aspirations might not be the same thing). 

This reminds me of when I gave birth to my daughter. Like so many other expectant mothers I had a birth plan. A week before she was born, that plan was thrown out the window when I learned she was breech and I would need a C-section. I tried everything in my power to get her to turn, but nothing worked. 

At the same time, I took to my journal to process the situation. There were all sorts of specifics in my birth plan that were not compatible with having a C-section. Rather than staying stuck in the weeds, I grieved what I had lost while gaining perspective from a higher ground. 


At the end of the day, what really mattered to me was to have a positive birthing experience and a healthy baby. And I got just that. I finished strong even though none of it, and I mean none of it, went "according to plan," yet it all met my highest aspiration.

So, back to finishing 2020 strong. How can we make that happen for ourselves?

It's as though there are these scales of productivity. On the one side you have - getting things done. On the other side you have - thinking, planning, prioritizing, evaluating - all the things that don't feel as gratifying as doing the busy work but are essential to staying focused on doing the right tasks for moving the needle forward.

If you spend too much time and effort on the just getting things done side, you run the risk of only completing the urgent tasks and forsaking the important. That doesn't give us the lift needed to reach our highest aspirations.

On the flip side, if you spend too much time on the thinking, planning side, you run the risk of analysis paralysis or all talk and no action. 

The challenge, if you feel so inclined to accept it, is to balance your scales of productivity. To look at your tools, your practices, your efforts and decide - where do you need to invest your time now, in order to be balanced and therefore working towards your highest aspirations?

Would you like some guidance, accountability and camaraderie balancing your scales of productivity? Join us for the next Journal Jam on October 14th and set yourself up to finish 2020 strong.

 

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