To do or not to do, that is the question

Michael Hyatt — №17 with Brian Tracy

I am a productivity geek. I want to get more done in less time. I’m always looking for that edge that will make me more efficient.

But the last week has been tremendously unproductive. Though I had big plans, I’ve not accomplished much of anything.

Initially, it freaked me out. I doubled down on my to-do list. I tried every productivity hack I could think of.

But nothing has seemed to work.

I have been unfocused, undisciplined, and, frankly, uninspired. I feel like I have been sitting under an Apathy Cloud for days.

Rather than fighting it, here’s what I decided to do. (I’m sharing this with you in case you are in a similar place.)

1. Acknowledge it.

Being productive is part of my identity. It’s difficult to be honest—with myself or others—about being unproductive. But I can’t change what I don’t confront.

The fact is, I have been unproductive. And that’s okay. It is what it is.

2. Use it.

Rather than beating myself up, I’m trying to discover why I am feeling this way. Why am I not being productive?

The truth is that I have had a crazy-busy fall. Since August, I have finished a book, co-hosted three separate conferences, delivered twenty-one speeches, shot a new video course, and produced a ton of new content for Platform University.

No wonder I am coasting. It’s time to slow down and regroup. This pace is simply unsustainable.

3. Embrace it.

What I achieve is not as important as what I am becoming. Rather than focusing on doing, I’m re-focusing on being. (Maybe this is why we call ourselves human beings rather than human doings. We intrinsically know that who we are takes precedence over what we do.)

As a result, I have enjoyed spontaneous lunches with my wife, daughter, and son-in-law, gone on a long walk with a close friend, helped one of my daughters with her business, and played with the grandkids. None of these were on my daily task list, but all of them were deeply satisfying.

I know I will soon be back to my old pace. There are more goals to achieve and more projects to finish. But for now, they can wait. I am going to enjoy this moment and lean into it.

Photo: Flickr / baslow CC BY-SA 2.0

Michael hyatt

Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt is the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. He has worked in the book publishing industry for most of his career. Michael is the author of eight books, two of which landed on the New York Times bestseller list. He has been married to his wife, Gail, for 28 years. They have 5 daughters, 5 grandsons, and 3 granddaughters and live outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

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