“Presence is far more complex than productivity and rewards art. Our culture, as human beings, by our efficiency, our bottom line, our ability to do this, or our ability to do it. It’s a culture that measures our value. There is a place in the productivity cult, but worshiping every day at that altar brings us the very joy and mysterious ability to make life worth living. Take away. “~ Maria Popova
I was very productive. There was one full-time job, two part-time jobs, and a side hustle.I was getting all Has completed. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Then I started to hate my life.
I read enough books and articles and told me that I wasn’t doing enough. A master of self-help told me that all I had to do was maximize every hour I had to get closer to “success”.
My colleagues were often threatened by my jammed calendar.I don’t exaggerate when I say it Per minute It was planned for my life. Sheldon-level schedules, including a dedicated “bathroom break”.
I ran three to-do lists: daily, weekly, monthly. This was my way to achieve maximum efficiency. I said “yes” to my boss, so I was often my boss’s favorite. What is work-life balance?
The task was jumping out of my list like never before — so many horizontal breakthroughs!I wore this as a badge of my honor for a while, this art of getting it all Has completed. And why? I was rewarded for it with money, praise, promotion and awe.
But that didn’t make me feel so good. Instead, I was really miserable.
Busy-Why Productivity is a Mirage
I’m not saying it’s not productive. It’s really rewarding to do a fulfilling job by minimizing distractions and increasing concentration.
But it’s important to stop and ask questions why You are doing what you are doing. You need to pause and ponder the value of your tasks and actions. Otherwise, productivity leads to wasted busyness.
When I became this productivity freak, I didn’t stop asking if any of what I was doing made sense in my life. I had a tough full-time job that served no purpose. My days have become a blur of unconscious task completion. My heart, my heart, and my soul lacked my work. Given Monday, it didn’t look much different than Tuesday three weeks ago.
And that didn’t seem to make me happy either.
I met all the deadlines, but I didn’t have time to spend with my family. There was enough praise to prove all my achievements, but not enough art to realize my soul. I replied to all the emails I received within 24 hours, but with little focus on long-term self-growth.
On the outside, my life never looked good. But inside, I was in the worst condition ever. Distractions, schedules, irritable bowel, and deadlines were the monsters that dominated my life.
After a month of burnout, I hit a problematic nail on my head. I knew I needed to move on. But how? I decided to take a leap of faith in the calculation. For at least a couple of months, I found a client who would pay for my freelance service and raised a lot of emergency funding by reducing costs. Then I quit my rewarding full-time job and focused on a really meaningful job. I stopped aiming for productivity. I chose presence instead.
I read Annie Dillard’s, Writing life, She wrote to be memorable, “Of course, how we spend our days is how we spend our lives... “
After reading this book, I realized that productivity only comes to fruition when combined with presence. At that time, I knew that its existence would make my reward meaningful.
What is presence? Presence is the art of being at the moment, the luxury of pausing, and the virtues of tranquility.It’s vigilant, noticed, and alive At this moment.
There is a reason why our culture operates for productivity rather than presence. Productivity helps us move away from reality. It keeps us “busy” in a future that hasn’t appeared yet.
It’s very easy and convenient to take a productive shield against beautiful, buoyant and sometimes destructive pain Present..
Performing one task one after another gives you the excuse of not being completely alive, completely unfocused, or even unacceptable.
I used to be — trying to avoid the truth that I thought my job was meaningless. I didn’t accept that this work slowly emptied me and denied the reality I was alive. Didn’t I get things done? I’ve never been. But was I happy? I have never been so dissatisfied with my choice.
Being productive every minute of every day meant that I was able to avoid the fact that many of my friendships were depleted, toxic and unhealthy. I lied to myself that it was all about living a good social life. In reality, I avoid being alone and stepping out of my way to avoid answering big questions related to my life that can only be answered lonely.
But linking our behavior with productivity and presence can have a surprising impact on our lives. It can drive all the tasks we perform with intent, purpose, and meaning. Presence helps you get the internal rewards of doing a fulfilling job.
If you’re someone like me, choosing presence over productivity requires some practice. Productivity was my normal mode of operation. It was easy. It came naturally. But choosing to be in my actions has never been so simple.
The art of being and intentionally present in all my work was like writing with my non-dominant left hand. I came across Tim Ferriss for help. He often says he thinks of your inscription to get through all the noise and mazes of productivity. It’s a way to find out what really matters to you by getting a super zoomed out version of your life.
Sounds morbid, but that’s what I did. I imagined what I wanted to engrave on my inscription, and the important thing was the laser sharp focus:
I had to write. I had to make time for my hobbies, for loneliness, for chance. I wanted to make more memories with my family. I wanted to let go of the depletion of friendships and focus on a relationship full of fulfillment, meaning and growth. I decided to go step by step and submit my resignation. I landed my first writing gig in less than two weeks.
And hey, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a hard time writing with my left hand anymore. But I’m growing every day. It takes some practice and effort to make room for “existence” on the calendar. I’m learning to be uncomfortable by lowering the volume of “get things done”.
I realized that the important thing was a small change. It will take a little longer to compose the email carefully. Courageous “no” for projects that can help take family time beyond quarterly KPIs. It chooses to take a soothing 15-minute walk break over checking tasks on another ignorant to-do list.
Presence To process.. You need discipline to focus on the present moment when productivity forces you to see a future that doesn’t exist. Presence is a busy presence of pure joy. It is the birthplace of your creativity.It’s just your time to do There is..
So do it. Make a difficult choice. Instead of heading for your future destination, live a life with a strong presence that will help you find your present joy. No one knows where the future lies, but you can enjoy the scenery along the way.