Levels of Productivity or Productiveness or Whatever You Want to Call It

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I’m not speaking of productivity on the business or work realm, that’s a whole other bag of words. Here I am speaking of personal time productivity, productiveness or whatever.

How do you measure your personal productivity time? By how many things you get done at home? How many errands you can run in one trip? How many meals you can prep for the week on a weekend? If you can get the kids/spouse to all the planned events on time? Hmmmmm, is this an effective way to measure your time and well-being?

Well, recently I’ve equated having a productive weekend with running in some sort of race event. So this weekend was the first in a while that I didn’t register for any running events since I have a double-header next weekend. I kind of felt like I would have a pretty unproductive couple of days. My mind is trained to think that unplanned time will be unproductive and that only days with schedules will be the productive ones (damn job!). And also lately, I’ve even had the nerve to feel that my own running time is not as productive unless it’s tied to a race or challenge! Egad! No bueno.

So I started searching for words related to productivity and came upon this wordle that captures what productivity looks like to me, generally. It’s a great little snapshot of important words – however most of these I tie to work.

Yes, all of these words are meaningful to me, but I am stepping back from the constant physical movement of being productive into a quest for a productive mindset.

That may mean that if I need to sleep, read, or watch TV, that’s what I need to do to get my mind into a place of contentment – my new productivity! Maybe I merely sit on a bench and watch people walk by, or simply get an iced coffee from a coffee shop I’ve never been to in order to reach the place of a mental regeneration/cleanse/contentment/renewal. I think this may one of those keys to happiness.

I don’t want to equate productivity only with physical accomplishments (as I must for 10 months of the year), but a mindset instead. This is often the mental work I need to do over summers – a repair from the grueling school year.

Oh, and I found another cute piggie picture on Animal Planet. I think that’s productive too.

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Courtesy Animal Planet

Mental Medicine

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I woke up yesterday and got right into some of the errand running I had to do – before I went running-running. Usually I go running first, before any to-dos, but yesterday my body just wasn’t ready to move in the early morning.

So on my list of errands – drop off dry cleaning, stop at bank, make some copies of documents, blah, blah, blah… When I completed round one of errands, I thought I would be making an excuse not to run, but as it turned out, I was ready.

My thoughts as I walked were unnecessarily busy of course. I was thinking mostly about the paper work that needed to be completed and the documents I needed to track down.

Once I started to run, I started to relax right away.

En route I did my usual observations of sights, sounds and smells around the park. Play groups, soccer, horses, pedi-cabs, bag pipes, bubbles, the zoo crowd.

When I was about 3/4 done my route, I noticed that my overloaded, boggled mind had become uncluttered. I felt relieved and lighter. My mind felt medicated. I realized that I didn’t even notice when my mind became present. Being present and staying present is tough in a busy place with a busy life, but running does that for me.

I’m telling you, running is mental medicine. I just wish I could bottle that.