All the "stuff" | Productivity
15 July 2021
Mindful productivity might sound like two buzz words decided to get together and have a party, and you might find yourself wondering why these two concepts are being brought together. We’ve got some good news — read on to learn what mindful productivity means and some ways you can incorporate mindful productivity into your workday.
What is mindful productivity?
The by-the-book definition of mindfulness is “focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, especially as part of a therapeutic or meditative technique.” This definition can be tough to wrap our heads around.
To me, the simplest definition of mindfulness is simply participating in the thing you’re actually doing — whether that’s working, having a conversation, or brushing your teeth. I’m sure this might seem very obvious, but how many times are you doing one thing and notice your mind is busy thinking about ten other things?
Productivity is another word that gets thrown around a lot. The word itself has origins in capitalism; where it’s defined as the quantitative output of your effort. This is tremendously outdated. It’s bizarre that we associate our work with “productivity” and yet also measure ourselves by this metric. In some respects, being productive has become synonymous with busy, but that’s not quite right. This thinking forces us to believe that the more we do (hello reorganizing Trello boards and resorting to Airtables), the more “productive” we are, but sometimes the things we do in the name of being productive don’t move us any closer to the goal.
My approach to mindful productivity
I like to think of productivity as a state of flow. I encourage you to consider what it feels like for you to be productive vs. just the quantity of output on any given day. In our modern-day society, many of us are doing knowledge work or creative work, and the quantity of our output doesn’t provide an accurate measure of our productivity.
Mindful productivity blogger Sarah Steckler, helps us tie the idea of mindfulness and productivity together. She defines mindful productivity as taking action from a place of internal awareness of our capacity vs. only focusing on the end goal. This means getting stuff done and still feeling good while we do it. Think of it as a shift from time management to energy management. While this can be more challenging in some roles than others, small changes can make a big difference.
Consider approaching your work with intentionality. It’s important to remember that sometimes the things that help us become more productive are not just other items we can easily cross off the to-do list. This could look like taking a walk or blocking time for unstructured thinking. Mindful productivity leaves room to build in time that may not necessarily be “productive” but is key to the process and ultimately to achieving your goals.
Head over to the Aduri blog for more tips on ways to be mindfully productive.
Catch a replay of our webinar with Aduri all about Mindful Productivity here.
Aduri is a mindful living brand revolutionizing meditation, making a sustainable practice easier (+ cooler) than ever.
About the author
Rita is the Head of Mindfulness + Strategy at Aduri, a mindful living brand that’s building the world’s most advanced meditation cushion, designed to guide breathing and focus, for a simple, engaging practice. As a former investment banker turned yoga + meditation teacher, she’s excited every day to be working where her skills and interests collide.