What Does It Mean To Be Productive?

Aug 16, 2020

I think this differs for most people, and certainly would between family members and amongst friends. Most people can probably think of that person in their lives who seems to have an abundance of time and makes absolutely no use of that time – or at least that’s one perspective.

Then there’s the manic friend or family member who just can’t stop, thrives on being busy and literally won’t sit still for two minutes. Who’s to say there’s a right and a wrong way to go about managing time, but it’s safe to say that most people could benefit from taking a step back to gain some perspective on exactly how they are spending their time, and if in fact, that really is how they want to be spending their time.

For parents in particular, it’s so easy for your time to be dictated to you by the everyday things that just happen. Cleaning up for the 15th time before the clock has struck 7:30am, spending half an hour trying to get the toddler to start, and then come close to finishing her tiny bowl of dinner.

Think back to your time at school. You have a timetable to stick to and subjects that are laid out, clearly defined, and an exam or assignment that you need to work towards. Beyond that, the general path is quite similar, in tertiary education, and then in the workforce. But where, amongst all of that, do we look to take stock of what it is we need to or want to be doing in our personal lives, particularly outside of a career or at least alongside it? Rather than that deadline you are working towards for your latest project dictated to you by your chosen career path, what about the milestones you have set yourself allowing you to achieve that personal goal you have also clearly defined? Is that a thing?

Learning a language, planning that holiday, bettering your skills in the kitchen, playing a social sport – have you ever found yourself thinking ‘how good would that be?’, knowing that life is far too busy to even contemplate adding that to your ‘plate’. Studies have shown that there are significant benefits in setting goals, such as triggering new behaviors, helping to create and guide focus, and assisting in building and sustaining momentum in life.

Why, then, when little one’s enter our lives, are we so quick to forget what could arguably be the most important thing to take care of – ourselves? Can you imagine having someone to work with you and help you manage how and where you spend your time, evaluating if it really is the best use of your skills, if it is congruent with helping you to become the person you want to be, or if it is aligned with the goals you have now clearly defined and stepped out a plan to work towards?

What if I said it’s actually possible, for real life (thank you Bluey)?
Stop spending time on the things you don’t need to be doing, like meal planning and grocery shopping. Work out where you want to be and make an actual plan on how you are going to get there. Find time to just be (HALLELUJAH!), if that’s in fact what you are searching for. Write in that journal, read that novel, be present with your kids, with your husband. Can you imagine?

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