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Escaping the Productivity Pendulum

Our motivation to get stuff done is like a pendulum. When we swing to one side, we push ourselves to do more. When we swing to the other side, we avoid doing more.

Each side reacts to and causes the other. We push ourselves because we don’t want to be idle. We avoid doing more because pushing is so life draining. Though we may tend toward one side or the other, we all normally find ourselves swinging back and forth.

Which is better? Neither side is better. Both come from unspoken regrets about the past, worries of the future, and fears (which are lies, really) about being incomplete, inadequate, or unacceptable.

To stop the pendulum, we choose to be present. Undistracted and in this delicious moment, we get to look out and choose what we want to do next. Sure we look to the past for insight and to the future with excitement. But being present, we neither push nor avoid. Then we get more done and feel great about it.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: There are several ways to learn to be present. Spend 5 minutes just noticing things around the room, house, office, or outdoors; set aside any judgments about how good or bad each thing is. Or spend 5 minutes noticing your breathing. Or spend 5 minutes using any of the buzz-raising tools such as This Is Me.

 

Today’s photo credit: Cole Henley cc

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