Escaping the Performance & Productivity Cycle

There are so many things I want and I want to do.

I’m realizing I’m either sorely lacking in self-discipline, I have way too high of expectations for myself, or some horrid combination of the two.

As I’ve said I’m learning in the past, I’m still learning again now: I need to learn how to just be… and who to be, rather than do and strive and stress.

Learning How to Be


via thesouldoctor

Leaning how to be is so much harder than it sounds – even when you know it’s exactly what you need to fix this nasty performance and productivity cycle you’ve created for yourself. It’s hard to change from doing to being because – if you’re like me – it feels like there’s even a to-do list for that change.

Then when I find something I think will help, I want to rush through all the learning (thanks, Netflix binge watching, for the overload of instant gratification). But nothing really sticks. I expect myself to be a whole new person overnight. Then I feel ashamed and disappointed when my actions prove I didn’t truly learn anything.

I’m tired of trying to convince myself I’m not actually a lazy person.

I’m tired of feeling guilty for relaxing on days off or evenings after a long shift.

I’m tired of feeling empty and anxious to do more at the end of a day full of checking items off my to-do list.

Urgency vs. Importance

7C78E6C5-09C9-4285-BA1A-6B2F233B3581Then I read part of a lesson for Make Over Your Mornings (I’m actually trying not to binge my way through this one). This lesson was about putting your “big rocks” in first rather than filling you day with the little to-do’s, not leaving any room for the important ones.

She explained the difference between what’s important and what’s urgent. She said to ask yourself, “If I did NOTHING else today except ___________, my day would be a success.”

When I wrote down my answers, I realized every single one were the things I push off and often don’t get to at all.

Rethinking Productivity

For a while now, I’ve been implementing a “6 Most Important Things” list, thank to Mary Kay Ash. I make a list at night of my six most important tasks to complete the next day.

Before, I wouldn’t include the tasks I considered “the givens” because there were just too many important tasks to fit all in one list.

FullSizeRenderNow, I’m taking more time developing the list, making sure my “day-makers” (formerly “the givens”) are all on the list before anything else goes on.

I’ve attached my daily tasks to my goals, and broken my goals down to bite-sized tasks I can complete in a day to make more progress.

When I stick to this plan during the day, I go to bed feeling more content and peaceful.

I’m impatient with the process but I’m feeling do much better and more hopeful – even slightly more free.

To-do lists aren’t bad if done differently and for a different reason.

I’m trying to truly learn in my heart the difference.

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