On Productivity

I’ll be the first to admit that being disciplined does not come easy for me. (Annnnd it’s at this point that you’re probably thinking “well…does it for anyone? That’s kind of the point of discipline…if it was easy, then it wouldn’t really be discipline…”)  But it’s true.  I feel like I constantly fight an internal battle between this ideal version of myself (a “totally solid in my faith-completely in shape-strong character and work ethic-waking up at 6 in the morning to take on the day” kind of person) and the real version (well, let’s not give a description here mmmk?) of me.

Let’s be clear – this isn’t a “I’m so down on myself” rant – I know I accomplish lots of good things, and work hard at whatever I do, but there’s always more I could be doing you know?

And this year in particular I’m learning more about how to become the person I really want to be.  My Arrow Leadership program has helped me ask the hard question of “How can I best steward myself?”  How can I take the gifts I have, the body I’ve been given, and the job I do, and be the best version of me?

And I’ve been learning so much about what that looks like for me.  I’ve been learning about focus, rest, taking care of my body, spending time alone with God, and developing as a leader.  And really this post isn’t about that – because there’s just too much to share.

In fact, this post started as a ode to a great weekend.  (What a segue eh?) But as I sat down to type about how great it was, I realized that a part of why it was great was because of what I’m learning.  I’m learning how if I really want to become that best version of me, then I ultimately need to take ownership of that and do the hard work of being disciplined.  Disciplined to exercise when I’m supposed to instead of copping out because it’s too cold.  Disciplined to budget enough time to get enough rest.  Disciplined to know when I’ve had enough rest and it’s time to work hard.  Disciplined to eat well even though I probably deserve a snack.

I began this weekend really overwhelmed by all the work I have looming in the next few months.  My workday had been scattered, and I felt like I failed at being productive.  As I went home to start a weekend filled with friends and fun, I felt like I hadn’t earned it and would have pressure looming over my head all weekend.

Well as the weekend wore on, things changed.  Laughter with really good friends helped. A much needed nap helped.  Following my running schedule all weekend long helped. Choosing to forgo a rest on Sunday afternoon in lieu of getting ahead on some of my work helped (yeah – even thought we LOST AN ENTIRE HOUR OF SLEEP –  my body forged ahead), making a wonderful, healthy, meal (homemade thai turkey burgers and an apple walnut salad – yummy!) with my husband on a balmy, sunny (I guess the time change isn’t ALL bad) Sunday evening helped too.

And as we crashed at the end of the night and put in a movie, I felt good.  The time on the couch was well deserved, and as I slipped my hand into Ben’s and cuddled next to him I was proud of me. Proud to have chosen to be the best version of me when on Friday, my attitude threatened to make me a grumpy, teary mess all weekend.

It’s wonderful what a little productivity can do for the soul.

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