I’m recognizing in myself an addiction to productivity. Obsessed with my to-do list, constantly chasing the ticked boxes, fixated on the clean slate I’m certain they’ll leave behind.
This is a problem, you see, because there will always be something more to add to the list. In my work, in my personal growth, in my business—nothing will ever be finished until I am. (And what am I ignoring by forever prioritizing the next thing I "need" to do?)
In the interest of breaking that spell, I’m searching for contentment in being perpetually in process. I’m looking to come to terms with the relentless incompletion, with seeing the items on my to-do list not as markers of my failure, but as signs of my journey. Instead of feeling anxious when the list gets long, I’d like to feel inspired by all the exciting things churning around me, the white-capped waves in the eddies of my interests. I’d like to feel confident in my future self, knowing she’s a badass who will knock that shit out with vigor. Most importantly, I’d like to stay in the present moment—even when I know how I want to spend my future.
Busy-ness and productivity are the harbingers of success in our culture. They’re the mark of capitalism, of exploitation—not the mark of a life well lived. I want to live a life well lived.
I’m deciding, then, to sacrifice efficiency for presence. To slow down my time instead of obsessively streamlining it. (Because is anything ever streamlined enough?) I’m committing to getting done what I want to get done, and to being ever more selective in deciding what will make the list.
The high of ticking things off is nothing compared to the quiet of slowing down. When I remain addicted to productivity, I find myself doing things that don’t actually need doing. But when I slow down, I do what’s most important and not much else.
Doesn’t that sound like a life well lived?