The Productivity Myth
In the fast paced world that we live in today, it's easy to get carried away by the expectations put on us by our workplace, school, friends and even family. These expectations sometimes leave us feeling like we're not doing enough, like we haven't used our time sufficiently, even when we're only sleeping four hours per night with little time to relax.
I am especially guilty of indulging in this "busy-life" kind of thinking. I thought that the busier I am, the more productive I am. If I can squeeze in more things into my twenty four hours, I will get more out of this life. Can you imagine having that kind of mindset every day? At one point it will exhaust you, push you out of your limits and lead you to multiple mental breakdowns. Its unhealthy, its misleading!
Today I found a video of a girl who goes to my high school. I believe she was a freshman when I was a senior, so I didn't really know her or talk to her, but I knew who she was. She is a violinist in my school's orchestra. She played an extremely insane and mind blowing solo in a piece that really got me thinking about my own passions.
I thought about the last time I really poured my heart into something - when was that? I thought about some of the potential talents in me that were neglected because I did not have the discipline and willingness to develop them; because I got bored halfway through the process or because I got distracted by other things along the way. I mean, it is so easy to get distracted nowadays. You can be in your Cost Accounting class talking about account balances, and Facebook notifications about friends that just commented on your phone would pop up. The next thing you know, you're 30 minutes into the class and the only thing you've learned is the kind of foods your friend ate during her trip to Prague. Ha!
Anyways - distractions aside.. I thought about it hard (well, kind of anyway) and came to this one conclusion:
The secret to a happier and more productive life to me is not to do more but rather to do the things that really matter with all my heart. (a.k.a FOCUS!)
It is impossible to do 10 things with a 100% performance each because we are only given a limited amount of time and energy. Why not just do one or two things really well? Why not focus on the things that really matter, the things that will make us stand out and the things that can really change our lives and the lives of people around us?
This might look different for everyone; of course the CEO who is responsible for multiple companies would not be able to focus just on one thing. But that's not the point I'm trying to make! What I want to emphasize is our need to focus on the things that we are called to do; and to do those things well, and (this is the hard part) to not get distracted when doing them. It will takes perseverance and discipline to sustain, but it will be worth it at the end!
I am most definitely far from perfect in this area, but I truly believe that one day - when I finally learn how to focus on only a couple things and pour out my heart into those things - I will find more purpose in what I do. Who knows, I might actually get more than four hours of sleep per day too!
Have a blessed monday! :)