|Just one of the ways I measure my productivity|
“‘I have a disease,’ I think to myself. ‘I am addicted to measurable productivity.'” ~Emily P. Freeman in A Million Little Ways
Have you ever been reading along in a book when a statement hits you right between the eyes?
That’s how I felt when I read the words highlighted above.
That is ME. At the end of the day, I feel satisfied and fulfilled when I can look back and measure how productive I’ve been. However, if most of the items aren’t crossed off my to-do list (and there may be more than one list), I feel like I’ve failed for the day. I’ve written about this issue before, but there’s clearly still room for improvement.
Now you may have a personality that is not afflicted with this condition. (Unfortunately, I tend to write about what I struggle with – so if you don’t have this problem, perhaps you can suggest a different weakness for me to write about in the future!) Sometimes I look with admiration at people whose personality draws them to
other people, those who never meet a stranger, who naturally focus on
relationships, not tasks.
My personality type is a firstborn, perfectionist, people-pleaser who is motivated by checking things off a list. Accomplishment; that’s what fuels my day, gives me purpose, and makes me feel successful. I am addicted to measurable productivity.
There’s nothing innately wrong with accomplishing things, but I have to remember to prioritize people and relationships, especially those in my family. Talking over our day with my husband or helping my daughter with a project or writing an email to a friend takes precedence – and I need to resist the temptation to add those items to my list so I can cross them off!
Many important things don’t have a measurable value. Take prayer, for instance. Yes, I can see God answer prayer in the here and now; but I may not see the effect of many prayers that I pray until we’re in heaven. Neither can I measure the impact of a smile to a stranger or a kind word to a friend or a card of encouragement to a fellow church member.
It’s helpful to set goals, to plan for the future, and do the best that I can to serve my family and my Lord. I believe God made me the way I am for a purpose and this trait can be used to further His work…if I just don’t allow my to-do list to turn into an idol I worship.. Accomplishment for it’s own sake can’t be what drives me. I have to allow the Lord to direct my days and learn to yield to whatever He has planned…whether it’s on my to-do list or not.
Do you struggle with this like I do?