A month or so ago, in between the first sounds of my daughter waking up from her nap and me going upstairs to get her, I felt a twinge of regret.
Why? Because I was telling myself that I didn’t get very much done because I had squandered my time, even though I was able to cross off one of the items from my list of top priorities for the week. Somehow, I felt like I wasn’t nearly as productive as I wanted to be.
I wanted to cross everything off that list immediately.
I wanted to have time to write — for myself, for my various sites, and to respond to the emails that are piling up in my inbox.
I wanted to write a handwritten note or two.
I wanted to spend some time journaling to make sense of what’s been swirling around in my head.
Instead, I had exactly enough time to edit two blog posts — one interview and one guest post for the blog.
It would be easy to say that my lack of productivity is the result of shorter naps, but I’m guessing that’s not entirely true. In fact, I think it has way more to do with how I define productivity — AKA logging hours in front of the computer.
No wonder I feel like I never accomplish anything.
When I was able to widen my definition and take into account everything I had done today, things shifted in a really powerful way. I felt more at peace, was kinder to myself on the whole, and had a fuller picture of what my day entailed.
Which, by the way, started in THE best way possible: snuggles in bed with my daughter.
It was full of eating and talking, errand running, party planning, reading, coloring, scheduling out blog posts, getting organized about my week, getting our tax information finalized, doing dishes, cleaning up our house, and tea parties galore.
And that’s just the tangible stuff.
I also managed to be playful instead of yelling when frustration and anger showed up. And was able to enjoy my day more profoundly than I have in a long time.
So why are those things any less meaningful than sitting in front of a computer and writing or checking off an item from my to-do list? I honestly wish I had an answer to this one because I am ready to rewrite this story into something more balanced and supporting.
Here’s to shifting perspectives and changing a faulty narrative.
PS—I just came across the Beyond the To Do List podcast. Has anyone listened to this? It seems like this is a good start at helping me broaden my perspective around productivity.