“Productivity” and I have a love-hate relationship

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It’s 2015 (as all the posts and blogs are reminding us, not to mention my cell phone and the TV).  Woo-ha!  And January always brings a flood of media about organization, planning, productivity, resolution, and change.

Cool, I guess.

I’m all about being “productive,” for the most part.  I’ve got a lazy streak like anyone else, and nearly anything will win out over house cleaning, when I’m given the option.  That said, I get a ton of stuff done in any given day/week/year.  My “day job” absorbs about 50-55 hours a week, once you’ve thrown in the commute; I cook good meals and do laundry and yes I actually do clean house; I hold down side jobs in freelance design and scoring essays.  Life is busy.

But when something like this comes along and tells me that the perfect productive day would be a micromanaged death march from before dawn until late at night, accompanied by hours of meetings and yoga and eating nothing but greens for lunch, I rebel.

(click to play)
Your Most Productive Day

^ That looks like hell, honestly.

As a society, we are driven to consume, to possess, to own, to earn.  To buy (for buying is everything in a capitalist economy), we must earn.  To earn we must work. And in this world we have build, working to earn enough to live “the life” takes the bulk of our time.

Understand, I don’t have a problem with Work.  The Preacher in Ecclesiastes notes that work is one of God’s good gifts to fill our hands.  Nothing is more exhausting than doing nothing.  I crave accomplishment and investment of time and energy to produce something valuable and meaningful.

What I’m aiming at is this notion of all-in, obsessive cultivation of career-as-life. The perpetuation of the machine of consumption.

It’s good to love what you do enough to spend a lot of time doing it. Great. As a former teacher, I understand.  Teaching is the job that never ever lets you go.

But when did “success” turn into a machine that grinds us down into little cogs in a big day? Micromanaged by our calendars, the clock, our smartphones, we “can’t” stop to talk, to walk, to play hooky on a beautiful warm day, to just read a story or sit and watch clouds. The schedule or goal or deadline shoves us forward forward forward forward.

I have a brother who lives simply on a very small income.  He “works” only  enough to pay for what he needs, and grows or makes the rest. And he’s a lot happier than most people I know.

Stop being so damn productive in 2015.
Go do something….

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