Automatic productivity

October 18, 2011

Career counseling

When you have a job, you’re automatically productive. In reality, you may or may not be but it’s easy to convince yourself that you are. And it’s quite comfortable.

Productivity is my new struggle. I used to leave the house at 8am, return at 6pm, do a whole lot of nothing from 6pm to midnight, and feel just fine about it. I put in a full day, right? I went to work. I was gone for 10 hours. Case closed.

Now, I’m solely responsible for my own productivity. Yesterday, I was beating myself up for not accomplishing enough. Statements like: I have no self-discipline. I’m a procrastinator. I’ll never be one of those people who can make herself focus and do the hard stuff.

Naturally, those feelings showed up in my Morning Pages today. But in the Pages, I found myself starting to analyze my day yesterday. Turns out, I spent five hours working on things I set out to do, items on my list of “Things I’ll do when I don’t have a day job.” Five truly productive hours.

Let’s continue the comparison to having a regular job. Subtract time for commuting, having lunch, jacking around with coworkers, reading email, and attending meetings where nothing gets accomplished. There ain’t five hours left to be productive in!

And it feels pretty good to spend five hours, or however many hours, working on stuff of my own choosing. I decide what’s important and what’s not, what’s going to make into the person I want to be.

When you consider that I was awake yesterday from 8am to 1am, you see that there is room for improvement. Ha. So I’m working my way up.

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  1. What is the definition of work? | All Fives - April 20, 2012

    […] wrote about Automatic Productivity last year: how going to a job everyday can allow you to not think about whether you are actually […]

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