So many of us spend a lot of energy and angst lamenting over what we don’t get done. We compare ourselves to others who seem to accomplish things with such ease, and we rarely measure up. We feel guilt and shame and stress over our struggle to keep up and follow-through, and we’re always trying to find ways to be more productive.
I hear these complaints from just about every new client who comes to me for help. And the underlying thread that connects every single client I coach is that they feel like they aren’t living up to their potential. “I know I’m capable of so much more, if only I could get it together. . . I could be so much more productive.” They come into my coaching practice with Productivity as a Goal.
Well, I’d like to let you in on a little secret my clients quickly learn. . .
Productivity is a Gateway, Not a Goal!
I always say, “Life is about more than just crossing stuff off your to-do list!” Sure. That’s easy for me to say now. Honestly, I don’t know that anyone could be much more productive than I am! I’m a wife and a mom to two teens, I run a busy Coaching business, own and manage several investment properties, and still have time to pursue my own hobbies and interests. Yet, I exercise just about every day, cook dinner almost every night, I take singing lessons (and sing in a band occasionally), go out for “date night” with my hubby at least once a week, and entertain friends on a regular basis. You get the picture!
But it hasn’t always been that way! You see, I’m a woman with ADD, and I used to end every day feeling like I’d spent my waking hours spinning around with one shoe nailed to the floor. Always exhausted and very hard-working, but with very little to show for it. I know what it feels like to see the clock winding down on the day and to feel that sense of panic and dread about what you didn’t get done. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re constantly falling short of your potential, and letting yourself and others down.
I remember what life was like for me then, but I know today what it’s like to be on the other side. Now, my to-do list is manageable, and the stuff on it gets done when it needs to get done. And, of course, that feels good. I know what it’s like to sit down to relax with my family in the evening and feel satisfied with how my day has gone. I know what it’s like to feel like I’m “firing on all cylinders”. To feel fulfilled.
I’m not telling you that to brag or toot my own horn, really. That’s not my style! I tell you that to give you hope, and a glimpse at what productivity can really be about.
For me, productivity is a gateway to other things, not the end goal!
It’s the stuff that productivity enables me to do that is what I work so hard toward! It’s the other stuff in my life that getting lots done makes room for, that is my goal!
If your to-do list were shorter, and you felt like it were in control, what difference would that make in your life? What else could you focus on?
This may be a hard question for you to answer for many reasons: Maybe you’ve been living in the insanity of disorganization, poor productivity and weak follow-through for so long, that you can’t remember a different kind of life. Maybe you’ve become so embroiled in trying to keep up, and living your life as if you’re treading water for so long that you’ve forgotten why you work so hard. Maybe you don’t dare dream of things like fun and fulfillment and peace because of the guilt and shame of your poor productivity and lack of follow-through. Maybe, deep down, you don’t believe you deserve it anymore!
If you were more productive and felt more on-top of things, what would you want to have more of in your life? What would take the place of all that stress, worry, and struggle? If you were on top of your to-dos, what would you be making room for?
Productivity is a Gateway to happiness, fulfillment, peace and joy. Productivity is a gateway to more time and energy for the rest of your life, and for yourself!
That’s the end goal. For me, it’s simple. The end goal of what I get done every day is that it gives me more time, more energy, and even more money, to the things I want to do with and for the people I love! It’s about taking care of myself, my family, and helping as many people as I can.
That’s my definition of fulfillment. And that’s what productivity is a gateway to for me.
What is Productivity a Gateway To, for You?
Imagine the possibilities!
As always, thanks for reading.
PS: If you need help getting there, I’m always just the click of a mouse or a phone call away! Feel free to contact me to schedule a complimentary phone consultation to find out how Coaching Can Help!