Last year, I found the productivity matrix. I was working the job, then working after the job and almost forgot about having a life, a husband, and anything else in between. Everyone online had been telling me that the only reason I wasn’t where I wanted to be was because of me and I simply couldn’t let that be the case.
Well, that was a bunch of BS.
It was very easy for me to get caught in the rat race. Although I do have a 9 to 5 job, I work from home, which makes it extremely easy to switch from one laptop to the other without looking up. I wanted to have my blog posts together and get my literary mag off the ground and maybe finally have the success that I saw so many other writers and bloggers gaining. And clearly I wasn’t working hard enough, right?
It was a faithful work trip to Chicago for Lollapalooza that really put me on my behind. Somehow, I thought I would be able to work on my own blog and do everything I had to do for work. I was very wrong. Each day out there, I was exhausted when I got back to my hotel and barely opened up my laptop. When I got back from that trip, the proverbial ish hit the fan and I was completely and utterly overwhelmed.
I literally couldn’t see which way was up and I started wondering what was even the point of it all? Why was I killing myself to get new posts up, promote them, make sure I was planning out my days strategically in my Passion Planner if I wasn’t yet able to walk away from my job and my workshops weren’t selling out or making 15k online? What was the point? I felt pretty defeated actually in those moments.
In today’s time, we try to equate productivity to value. And listen, productivity in and of itself is not a bad thing. I mean, we have to be productive in life to get anywhere. But have you ever had a day when you were totally not feeling it and felt so angry at yourself for not getting something done? Yeah, that’s where the problem kind of came in for me.
I don’t want to beat myself up for living my life. I don’t want to ignore my husband because I just have to get this blog post up. In reality, when we are truly as productive as we can be, we should have time to actually live a life outside of our work as well. (Tweet) But I digress. Either way, I had to learn that my value was not engrained in how much I could do. It wasn’t about outworking the competition, it was about learning that there is no competition.
There come these moments in life where you have to evaluate, what is actually important to you and what are you’re really chasing after. And in the moments when I was most honest with myself, it was popularity and announcements that I wanted from working so hard. It was wanting to be able to say, look, I did it, I’m an entrepreneur too and I don’t have to go to this job every day that I think I’ve outgrown. It wasn’t about making my work an offering or staying focused on my true long-term goals. It was about making cash and being seen disguised as wanting to be as impactful as possible. But if the true goal is to impact, we shouldn’t feel so defeated about follower counts and selling out.
In this New Year, I feel a total mental shift. I’m no longer trying to compete with people who don’t have the same long-term goals as me. I’m almost over thinking I should have a larger following after all the consistent work I’ve put in. I’m learning that what is for me will not pass me by. THIS is one of the most important lessons. All of the work is really toil and as a believer, yes faith without works is dead, but God doesn’t want us to toil either.
Say it with me, “balance.” It’s okay to work hard. It’s okay to be productive and schedule and plan. But the key is to be flexible, first and foremost, because God doesn’t care what you have planned. But also, to not beat yourself up because someone else is telling you that you’re in your own way and you’re not successful because you suck at life.
We all know that success is not one sized fit all at this point. Financial success is just one way to be successful, but I will tell you what, not having to ask people for anything, being able to put food on your table, being a good parent, maintaining a small following and selling some products, those are all successes.
We’re all trying to get someplace. But the older I get, the more I do realize the journey is beautiful. I had to slow down. I had to listen to what God was telling me. I had to be reminded that God is God. Listen, I can work myself to death and still not get there. But I can heed one instruction from God and have everything I ever thought I wanted.
I am learning to trust God more than I trust myself. My dreams and desires will not be accomplished because of my hard work. Sure, it may help, but ultimately, God has the final say in where I will end up. I am being prepared in ways I can’t even comprehend. And I also may end up in places I could never have dreamed up on my own. Have you noticed that at times? Like you get what you prayed for essentially, but it looks nothing like you imagined?
So, yes, have your morning routines, and your project management tools, and to-do lists and all that good stuff. But promise me that if you forgot something or don’t get everything done, that you’ll remember that you are still a King’s kid. That you will get the desires of your heart and that there are greater things for you outside of completing tasks day in and day out.
Your value is not tied to the things that you can produce. (Tweet) In and of yourself, you are enough and great things are in store for those who are diligent and believe and trust in God. The end. You win, so stop getting so crazy because it’s not adding up the way that you think it should.