Getting It Done

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You’re expecting a tidy, empowering list here, aren’t you? I’ve done this— gone searching for tips, ideas, inspiration on how to do more in my day— Be More Productive! Do Everything (and More)! 

Memes float around reminding us that we have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce— and look at all that she is able to accomplish! The times is ours with which to do, make, create, produce. As if that is our highest calling as human beings— to Get. Stuff. Done. The message is clear: if you aren’t being productive, you are lazy, less worthy.

Culturally, we have come to value productivity above all else— how much can you squeeze into your day? How much can you accomplish? Portable computers and smartphones have created a world in which you can be working at all times if you’re willing, if you’re really committed. Work hard— anytime, anywhere. The message is clear: do more.

And so we go looking for ways to get more done. We want to know how to make the most complete To Do lists and how to cross each and every item off of them. But here’s the thing: we’re not getting stuff done because we’re exhausted. We’ve become burnt out in our attempts to keep up, to become more worthy by accomplishing as much as we possibly can.

We are so concerned with being productive that we aren’t living, not really, not in the way that leads people to fulfilled, meaningful lives.

This isn’t a sustainable model for personal growth. It is my experience that we actually become more productive when we are able to let go of the glorification of constant output, when we allow ourselves time to think, breathe, recharge. This sort of space can be so energizing, allowing us to do the good, meaningful work we were born to do.

So here’s what I have to offer on How to Get Things Done, how to reach the Big Goal, Cross Everything Off Your To Do List—  take a break. That’s it. Give yourself a break. What does the sky look like right now? How does the sun feel on your skin today? How does the voice of your best friend sound? Go find out.

Tracy Sanson