Phases of Productivity

On Being Productive:

This summer a lightbulb went off in my head. I’m good at focusing on one big picture thing at a time. If I have too many things dragging me in different directions, I freak the eff out. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of freaking out and its time to change that.

Whether its writing, creating, loving, organizing, etc, I do a better job if I devote my whole self and all of my energy into one thing. And if I spend my time and energy on the right thing at the right time — magic happens. I make amazing things; I figure out new ideas; I experience incredible feelings. It’s the top of the world and it feels awesome.

When it happens that is.

Now I just need to figure out how to sync everything up a little bit better so I can find that magic a little more often.

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I’ve had the mind-organization summer from hell. Everything has just always seemed off and out of place. My brain has been all fuzzy with this and that and the other thing that I was doing a terrible job of keeping it all together. I don’t function well when there’s a million things going on in my head. I got my best work done when I just said “screw it” and worked what felt right.

Not what felt good. Not what felt fun. What felt right. 

And sometimes that was sitting down and doing all of the boring un-fun stuff so that it was totally out of my head. And sometimes that was telling people, ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to a couple of great opportunities that would have pulled me in yet another direction.

Moving Forward

And so moving forward I need to change how I prioritize. I need to have one big picture thing going on at a time, and focus my energy on that big picture goal. Those big picture goals will have to change in order to keep everything in balance — maybe that can be each week, or maybe it doesn’t need to be a set time at all.

But I think this is is a better way of looking at things for me. Instead of trying to juggle everything equally all the time, and then failing miserably — this new way of organizing my goals might be what I’m missing.

So starting now, I’m going to manage my medium and large size goals and tasks by focusing most of my energy in one area; really trying to push toward that one goal and letting all of the other goals remain stationary until it’s their turn to shine.

How do you stay productive? What works or doesn’t work? Has it ever changed?