A throwback article that appeared in The Inflectionist back in 2015.
I had a hectic week. Every night for the last week I came home, did what had to and then went straight to bed, sleeping like a dead person just to wake up tired. I had so many problems that needed my attention—like yesterday—but walked against the proverbial brick wall repeatedly, accomplishing nothing. By the end of the week, I was frustrated, annoyed, tired, and cranky.
Looking back at the week, I came to one conclusion: I was busy but not productive, and that made me feel even worse. It felt I had not only failed the people that were depending on me, but that I failed myself.
Have you ever felt that way?
Let’s look at the word productive. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it means in simple terms doing or achieving a lot; being fruitful.
So many times I had heard people complaining that they were busy and have no time to relax while irritable for work not done.
Does this sound familiar?
I understand that things steal our time, things equally important although not fruitful at the end. In my case, I struggled to get my new (secondhand) car through the roadworthy test. It failed 4 times! Every time I had to watch as they lift the car in the air, removed the left rear wheel and end up with the same results. By Wednesday I was livid…
It seems there’s a technical point about this and I am stuck in between with no understanding what to do.
Although important it did nothing to get the work done. My work piled up and as a new agent still busy to learn with definite duties for each day, my manager was not impressed.
To top that off, I could not get my certification as an agent because the board’s system was offline for three weeks! I cannot work without it, so between the vehicle that failed and me riding up and down between the work and the board, I wasted valuable time. Not to mention the petrol that was wasted. No work was done… period.
Friday, when I heard I still had to wait for my certification for a few days, I left the office; thinking I would strangle someone.
So I did what any sane person would do, I did some work. (Okay, I know what you are thinking: no sane person would do this, but I do.) I drove to my designated area and did some farming.
Being out, walking the streets, taking in the surrounding activities: being part of something, it grounded me once more. It took me about an hour to feel useful again, as if I finally done something and became calmer.
Just that hour of productiveness changed my attitude, and I went through the rest of Friday in a breeze carrying out more than the entire week of busyness.
Did it change the problems I faced? Nope. But my approach changed.
Being productive does something to us as human beings; it elevates us to a different playing field where we’re at peace with the world. It centres us, restoring the balance within, and we do it differently, making us restful.
Nothing creates such a powerful emotion as working with intent. No drug, no anti-depressant or any other diversion could give you that high. It does something to your soul, spirit and body and you feel vibrant.
So next time you feel tired and lost after a long day, ask yourself, were you really productive?
Did you do what you set out to do or did it create more chaos?
The tiredness of being busy and the tiredness of doing actual work would be different; the one weighs you down the other gives you that Ah moment when you kick up your feet feeling satisfied with the world around you.
So how was your day?