The Productivity Trap

A client of mine is a self admitted workaholic. She works all the time, weekends and late nights. She struggles with allowing herself to do things that she really enjoys and yearns to do. She is in a trap, caught in a cycle of 'doing' versus 'being'. We are working shifting this.

I'm familiar with this habit too -- the endless cycle of wanting to achieve something in the hopes that 'it' will get me to the mountain top, the finish line or to joy. All of that thinking weaves perfectly with the 'dictator' mindset. This sounds a lot like: 'Get that done or else your failing," or "You'll be so proud when you finally finish that." REALLY?!?!? Are we only as good as what we do or have achieved? Nope!

This head space misses out on the process. The process is the trip, the discovery, the adventure, the learning, the curious and varied path. It matters how 'we get there' but when we are caught up in the drama of 'being productive' we can easily miss out on gifts in the process.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying, don't be ambitious or set your sights on big goals and wishes. Actually, I want you to fully go for what you really, really desire and hope for yourself. (And I want my client to bravely risk living her life untied to her work so she can lean into other aspirations. This is a radical risk for her but one that is possible and she'll be so much happier for it.)

It's true that learning to love the process isn't easy. Really accepting the ups and downs is a challenge. How do we embrace the failure? When we accept 'it', and the little wins, thelittle losses, or the big mistakes and big wins, we sink into the wholeness of the process. This expanse is the truth. Unleashing the attachment to be excessively productive (or any consuming emotion, for that matter) enables us to feel, accept and surrender to the rich and varied moments of existance.

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