Over the last five weeks, I’ve been teaching a course called “Productivity for Multipotentialites” with Michelle Nickolaisen. Teaching this class been tremendously rewarding for me. I’ve really enjoyed discussing these concepts that I find so valuable and use constantly in my life.
We’re going to be releasing the “self-study” version of the video course next Wednesday. It will include video and audio recordings of the four classes, plus all the workbooks, a few bonuses, and access to the private Facebook group.
Today I thought I would reflect on the word “productivity,” and how my relationship with productivity has changed over the years.
Productivity is not a sexy word.
The word used to evoke a lot of employment, industrial, slave-like connotations in my mind. Productivity felt like the sort of thing that “management” would be concerned with. I could imagine a leaflet from the 1920s entitled “How to Make Your Workers more Productive.”
In the mainstream world, the word productivity is largely synonymous with efficiency: How much work can you churn out? How many items can you knock off your list? Like I said, very unsexy.
Productivity to a Multipotentialite
To a multipotentialite however, productivity has an entirely different meaning. Depending on whether you’ve found a system that works with your scanner nature, productivity can either be a source of great joy, or one of the most painful terms in the world.
So many of us have a terrible time reigning in all of their interests, making them work together, and shifting our focus between many projects. We struggle with dividing our time between our long term priority projects, and the more fleeting interests (and knowing how to tell the difference between them). We have families and responsibilities, and embracing all our passions seems impossible in the face of such real world obligations. We feel stuck, distracted, constantly switching from one passion to the next, and endlessly spinning our wheels.
We become ashamed about our apparent inability to “finish” anything, and sometimes only tentatively pursue new interests, afraid of what our friends and family members will think if we switch direction yet again.
To a multipotentialite, the word productivity is not some black-and-white, abstract concept from the industrial age. To a multipotentialite, the word productivity is incredibly loaded.
What productivity should be about
Since piecing together my own productivity system, one that works with my multipotentialite nature, my relationship with productivity has change radically. The word no longer brings about pain and frustration. It now evokes happiness and a deep sense of purpose inside.
Learning to be productive is not about “Getting Things Done.” It’s about knowing how to open yourself up, so that you can channel the creative spirits and receive more “AHA” moments.
Productivity should be about sitting down each day and being able to induce a deep flow state, where it’s just you and your work. The rest of the world dissolves, and time expands. You create, free of fear, and free of limitations. When you’re in a flow state, you feel pure and happy.
This is the true power of productivity: it can transport you to an almost trance-like state, where your many projects can be nourished, a space where you can innovate, create, and be the biggest multipotentialite in the world.
Productivity is happiness.
What does productivity mean to you?