Productivity

My name is Lucy Claire Curran, and this is the second installment of what I hope will be many episodes of what I’m calling The Crayon and the Pen; a video blog about my unique approach to career resources. I’m currently working as an Employment Case Manager, and there’s something about supporting people in finding their life’s work that has a lot of resonance for me. I’m playing with bringing resources to you here on my page that help marry the head and the heart, or that bring together our more creative capabilities and our more analytic or linear capabilities.

Today I’m going to talk to you about Productivity. I have been a life-long subscriber to the merit of good hard work. I love rolling up my sleeves and doing hard work. I really like the feeling at the end of the day that I can check a bunch of things off of my to-do list. I don’t know if that’s familiar to anyone else here, but I have come to realize, through the long and painful process of finding out what doesn’t work, that productivity is only possible when there’s also down time.

I’m a gardener and I love working with plants and being outside, and one thing that I’ve come to realize in observing nature is that fallow time is critical. It’s absolutely essential to the earth being productive. There’s the growing season, and then we have winter. We have a time when roots go dormant, the plants above ground die back and things look dead. It looks like nothing is happening, but we know in fact that the period of dormancy is essential for the health of a plant, and that it’s regrouping and investing in those root structures so that when the spring rolls around again, the plant can regrow.

Here I am posting at 11:30pm, but I’ve been putting off this video and I realized that it’s a very important issue for me in my own life and also when I work with other people.

I feel like in the United States, in particular, we’re sort of addicted to feeling productive, so if you are finding that you’re not being as productive as you would like to be, you can just check it out with yourself. Are you giving yourself any down time? If you’re not, that could be a clue as to why you’re not being as productive as you would like to be and, as much as you might resist, making time for quiet, whatever that means for you, whether it’s sitting and having some quiet time outside in a relaxing space, or whether it’s having a cup of tea in a cafe by yourself and just enjoying it, whether it’s taking a walk near water – whatever it means for you, you know better than anyone else what that downtime that feels best for you is, but it’s absolutely essential.

I tell you this because I have learned from painful personal experience that we can’t be productive all the time, or rather we need to reframe our understanding of productivity to include those regeneration times, regrouping times, rest times. It’s not laziness. It’s called rest.

I wish you many productive days followed by good, solid chunks of sleep and rest, and also fun too.

With that, this again was the Crayon and the Pen with Lucy Claire Curran. Thank you for listening and have a  good night.

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