I used to think productivity was packing every spare moment with self-development. Ceaselessly producing, networking, making, generating. Writing a daily list so long I felt rushed before I even started. Telling other people how busy I was. I used a big whiteboard, four calendars and a planner. I hashtagged hustle and set goals. I wanted everybody to see how much I did, the self-sacrificing martyr with online business balls the size of grapefruits. I believed it was productive to track the numbers, sweat the numbers and draw conclusions about my success based on the numbers. I dreamed in mass. If I wasn't stressed, I wasn't doing enough. I looked to life coaches that worked with high performers, because I wanted to be superhuman.
Then I got tired, and took a two-year nap. Retreated into a hibernation state until the conventions of this productivity prison melted and a new spring dawned on my perspective of creative work. So I could start again and do something good, in divine time. Inspired, fresh, honest and sustaining. Brilliant in its own right. I realized it took balls to sit still and breathe for 15 minutes. Take a nap in the afternoon. Read a book at night, and go to bed early.
Productivity now is decluttering my life and consistently showing up for the most fulfilling, natural work, that I'm the best at and comes the easiest. That doesn't necessarily make it "easy." The real energy is spent in my mind where I hold a ping pong tournament every day: To write or not to write? It's not more work, it's just focused work. Intentional v. scattered, deliberate v. obligatory, flexible v. planned and operating on a plane that transcends numbers, placing complete trust in the intuitive guidance delivered moment-to-moment by the one and only: Universe.
Some of my most productive moments are when it's quiet and I'm alone. When I make a choice to listen to the signal that just pulsed through me, follow through with inspired action and let the rest weave itself into being with the joy of surprises.