Darwin, Dickens, and some of the most accomplished and creative people in history have one thing in common, said researcher Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. They worked with intense focus—but for only four hours a day.”
“More from less” – a familiar paradox that very few truly trust and rarely practice. Oh, we might say we value it, but our personal behaviors and routines belie us: stressed, exhausted, lethargic and maybe resentful. As one reads the summary article from The Week’s A Better Way To Work, you probably won’t be surprised by the data that history has shown to be true in creative fields from music to math, hard sciences to psychology…Yet in our American culture from education to government to the marketplace, our job descriptions call for a 40 hour plus work week, requiring being in an office at continuously prescribed time frames. Sure, we have days we work from home and flex-hours, but the fact remains we predominantly believe, even demand from ourselves and our organizations “more from more.” So how can we step out of this paradox of productivity?
The Wall & The Lie
At LifeSource, we understand the required paradigm shift must begin personally, not corporately. Heck, even our U.S. Presidents share about the productivity of rest via naps and consistent sleeping schedules. Unfortunately such a shift to “More for Less” against the strong gravity of our culture and our own internal drives usually begins amidst crisis. You’re still reading this article because you or someone close to you have hit “The Wall.” You are striving to be more productive yet find yourself stuck or stressed, depressed or completely depleted, resigned or harshly resentful. I know because I’ve hit that wall a few times myself.
Most of us scraping ourselves off the wall have experienced a trauma at some point in our early life where we bought into the lie “IF I only had…” more knowledge, more resources, more time, more ability, more anything…, THEN I would be successful, profitable, promotable, etc.
The key to shifting my belief away from “More from More” requires a sub-conscious process of slowing down, exploring my beliefs and accompanying emotions, challenging the lie(s) I’ve embraced, and finally embodying a new truth. That’s what shifts paradigms, that’s what changes our “being” so that our “doing” becomes more fruitful and less laborious. It’s only as a result of this deep work that we will allow ourselves to slow down, take naps, spend more time reflecting and relating. Those are the attributes and activities of “high achievers” that make a significant impact in their field of calling.
Schedule time today for a complimentary “discovery session” to learn how you can escape your “Paradox of Productivity”.
Coach Dave is a Leadership Coach specializing in elevating emerging and entrepreneurial leaders. He has a Master’s Degree in Divinity and years of experience in coaching. He is a father, and husband to Coach Sue. Learn more about Coach Dave here.