Obsessed With Productivity

Obsessed With Productivity

There comes a point where an obsession with productivity has made us unproductive. For me, I saw how I became so involved with so many different things that I lost sight of what was really important.
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I’m sitting on a piece of log. It’s 7:43 in the morning, and I’m surrounded by an evergreen meadow. The only thing I hear is the sound of myself typing on this laptop.

I was supposed to come out here to work on some homework. I have a few assignments to catch up on, but there’s something magical about being in the middle of nowhere. You kind of just realize your work isn’t the most important thing right now.

The more important thing right now is to be still.

Be. Still.

Those two words are so convicting because they command something so simple, and yet, when are we every really still?

This year, I have been challenged to, get this, be more unproductive. Why? Because I have been obsessed with productivity in the last few years.

Obsessed is a loaded word, and I hate to use it to describe an aspect of who I am, but it’s true. I can’t just sit down and not be doing anything!

If I’m sitting down with nothing to do, I pull out my phone to respond to messages, scroll through some emails, and make sure I’m up-to-date with all of my social media accounts.

If I realize I have a few days out of the week where I have extra time on my hands, I look out for new activities I can get involved in.

If I have a day off, I quickly plan a trip out to a place I’ve never been before.

And I’m not saying that all of this is completely bad, because truth be told, I’ve been able to get involved with a lot of meaningful things and meet a lot of great people and make awesome memories through my involvements.

But there comes a point where my productivity has made me unproductive.

I become so involved with so many different things that I lose sight of what is really important - loving God, loving people, and enjoying life’s simple, beautiful moments.

As I’m writing this, there’s a group of a few sheep, goats, and llamas (again, I’m in the middle of nowhere), and watching them has got me thinking. They all move slow, they chew the grass they’re eating slow, and they don’t do a whole lot. They’re just eating and observing the world around them.

I can’t remember the last time I acted like them, where I just was not rushing, not talking, eating my food slowly, and just being invested in the environment I was in. I can’t remember the last time I was as peaceful as the sheep, the goats, and the llamas.

Now, I’m not putting down productivity. Being productive, working hard, and being involved with cool things and going to neat places are essential aspects of living a meaningful life.

But it’s when you overdo it, when your identity becomes wrapped in how productive you are, that you lose sight of the things around you that truly matter.

If your life moves too fast, you may really just miss out on the whole point of it all.

Here’s a prayer that my boss sent me when she noticed I was becoming overwhelmed with doing and not being.

A Prayer for When Life Moves Too Fast

We confess our tendency to worship productivity and that our exhaustion is often the result of our own obsession.

Show us how to walk at Jesus’ pace.

Remind us that our souls aren’t made for hurry but to find their rest in You.

Teach us the sound of our Father’s voice so that we can move to the unforced rhythms of grace.

Reveal to us our own assignment and empower us to do our own thing well.

Give us the courage to define our own margins, to be people with a strong no and a thoughtful yes.

May this season of thanksgiving be for us a sweet reminder of Your presence in our everyday moments.

Encourage us as we wait for results.

Comfort us as we listen in the darkness

Slow us down in Your presence we pray.

- by Emily P Freeman


Cover Image Credit: News of Kings Point

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


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