My Secret to Being Productive

I’ve read too many self-help blogs and books in my life, listened to hundreds of podcasts and watched a bunch of inspirational videos, trying to figure out the key of becoming a more productive person.

I don’t know why I obsessed about that, it’s not like I'm lazy, but I figured I could “hack” my life in ways that would get me to accomplish more every day. For what? Who knows, maybe I feel bad for all those days I was hungover and stayed in bed all day.

These attempts at being more productive left me miserable and lethargic. The pressures of trying to get more done or doing activities at a higher level would subconsciously force me to not engage in an activity. Why do it if I wasn’t going to be better than yesterday?

A friend read my discouraging post about my difficulties in writing and creativity, so she offered a book that she thought would help me. The book was Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

I was hooked. The book discusses the idea of creativity and how it originates. Ms. Gilbert sees inspiration as a force of nature. Ideas come and go depending on if your accepting of them, the point being to go with the flow and enjoy what comes to you without being unappreciative.

I’ve never known how to go with the flow. It’s been said a million times to me, but I’m a control freak, easier said than done. This book helped me understand what going with the flow actually meant by relating it to writing.

Inspiration will find you when you’re in the right mindset because it wants to be creative and developed with you. Don’t try to control or force inspiration because it’ll be much harder to find it. I applied that lesson to the rest of my life over the last couple weeks.

It all clicked. The secret of a productive life isn’t what I thought it was; being “busy”, enormous pressure to achieve a million things daily, or taking things too seriously sometimes. The secret is fun!

Fun, really? Yes, I promise.

When you’re looking at life through a spectrum of fun, then you’re always going with the flow, taking on inspiration anywhere and everywhere from the good and difficult in life. There are no boundaries because there’s no worry or controls to try to set them for you.

I feel like a kid again; working on different ideas that I wouldn’t of thought of or engaged with before, my energy is sky high, I’m more engaging with people and I’m excited for what each day brings, instead of being indifferent.

The weight of the pressures, controlling attitude, and other robotic functions are gone. If I’m not feeling creative or if a workday is slower than usual, no worries, I’ll have fun doing something else that will ignite a spark.

As 8AM passes this morning, I have a list of work to get done, but only one thing on my to do list matters; having some fun.

The rest will fall into place.