Is Productivity Killing You?

Productivity secrets and life hacks are great. At least, I love them.


I often find myself browsing online and clicking on nearly every link promising life changing “hacks” to make my days more productive and easier. When I scan through an article I find myself thinking - wow! these could actually work!


Every once in a blue moon I may actually apply one to my life - sometimes to great success.


One of my favorite “hacks” is making layered salads in mason jars for the week. Saves so much time and money later in the week. Gives me an easy, healthy, go-to lunch everyday, and means I have one less decision to make at 6am- which is always appreciated.


So I love these things. And honestly, I think much of the first world does as well.


Who doesn’t want tools to help us make less daily decisions, get things done in less time and with less stress?


So what is wrong with these?


Well fundamentally nothing. In fact, the more clever ideas can help people, the better.


However, I would argue that what is wrong is not the ideas themselves, but what they represent. 


Ultimately, the popularity of these ideas shows us that we live in a society that prizes productivity and getting more done in less time. 


“Well, duh…” you might say, “whats wrong with that?” 


Well nothing - until it gets in the way of resting and down time.


The problem I see is that we so badly want to get more and more done that when we reach a point emotionally, physically and/or mentally when we need a break - we struggle to actually give ourselves a break without overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame. We feel guilty about off time. We feel FOMO (fear of missing out) for fear of missing something fun. On sick days we find ourselves still working - just from home.


There is something wrong with this.


When our bodies reach the point where we get signals to slow down and rest we need to listen, respond and honor them.


Instead, we see this as weakness and as something that we can work or play through.


Side Note: Going and doing fun things whether playing a sport, hiking, going out for drinks - as much as they can be rejuvenating to a certain extent - these things still do not count as rest because you come home just as exhausted, if not more so than when you left.


So what do I propose?


I propose that we give ourselves PERMISSION.


We give our society and our friends permission to take a break.


Rather than guilt our friends into joining us when they tell us they need a day off - we should respect it and tell them we both understand and are impressed they are taking care of themselves.


Rather than reach out to coworkers on their sick days to see if they are well enough to get some work done - we should encourage them to turn off their cell phones and email and allow themselves to fully recover for work the following day. 


Rather than beat ourselves up over not getting the to do list done on a Saturday - we should respect our bodies and the innate understanding they have about our needs - and remember that anything that needs to get done can be completed the following day when our energy is back to normal.


And when we find ourselves craving a nap rather than a run on a Thursday afternoon- we should be willing to listen to that as well (within certain reason - we don’t want nap time taking over exercise).


Because ultimately if we give ourselves the time we so deeply crave to rest and be still and truly recover - we can and will be stronger than we can ever imagine when we reemerge fully recharged.


So what do you say?


Lets make a pact with one another to consciously choose to run on full battery rather than half. Lets make the intentional effort to no longer guilt ourselves or others when they need a day off and be willing to listen to the cues our bodies are giving us day in and day out.


Because I can only imagine how awesome this world could be if everyone were fully engaged and living life to their fullest.



In the comments tell me, what are your thoughts on productivity and how does it hurt or help you in your day to day life?

Are You A Human Being?

Or are you a Human Doing?


Have you ever paused to consider what human being, the very words we use to describe ourselves, really mean?


hu-man be-ing (noun) a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance.


Is it a surprise that the very term we use to describe our species, humanity in general, has the word BEING in it?


Now what does being mean?



  1. present participle of be
  2. existence


And be? Well be means to exist.


So what is it with our obsession to constantly be in action? To constantly be doing?


Yesterday at church, a friend asked me how I was, and all I could answer was that I was busy.




Really? Is that what I am? At my current emotional and physical state, is that what I am?


As I walked away I had the unsettling feeling that I had said something that I didn’t agree with. I wasn’t busy. I am. I am a person. I am a soul. Granted I am a person living in a season of chaos. I am confused. My mind is constantly streaming. I am starting a new job, finishing up my certification as a Certified Health Coach (I will be done in about a week, yay!). Starting an online business course and still getting settled into a new life. But I know this is a season, and no matter how crazy it may feel, it shouldn’t define me. 


It doesn’t define me.


Yet, once again I found that busy word slipping out of my mouth.


I know this isn’t just me. Ask any five people how they are in America - or granted most first world countries - and I can almost guarantee that at least one if not three will respond with something similar to busy.


What caused us to lose touch with the very essence of being human?


To sit still. To listen to the life pumping from our hearts. To calm our thoughts. To focus on our breath. To spend time in prayer, meditation or reading sacred texts?


Is it social media? A focus on success? Technology? The pace of the world? High work expectations? The “American Dream”? What?


It could be all of them, it could be none of them. Regardless, it has happened, and I think humanity has suffered as a collective due to it.


We have lost touch with others, with the natural world, our own bodies and with our creator.


The constant action of doing has become an addiction. An idol. Something we define ourselves by. 


I think it is time to change.


It is time we learn how to listen to our bodies. To understand what it is we really need. To spend time with family. To cultivate close friendly and romantic relationships. To stare at our partners in bed, rather than our phones before falling asleep. 


To notice the sweet smelling flowers in bloom as we run (Santa Barbara is absolutely bursting with floral scents along every sidewalk - jasmine, orange blossoms, roses and much more - it is amazing!). To spend time staring at and appreciating the nature that surrounds us - whether snow piled high or red rocks glowing as the sun sets or the mountains emerging from the darkness as the sun rises - it is all beautiful and an amazing gift.


To recognize what our bodies are really feeling. Recognize when we are exhausted and allowing ourselves to stop and sleep. Recognize that our bodies tell us what they want if we just pay attention. Be willing to experiment with foods to learn what makes us feel our best.


To recognize that there is something greater than ourselves in this universe and beyond. To allow our soul exploration and discovery. To allow ourselves to connect with God.


The concepts of fighting through life and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps are motivating, yes - but personally, I am starting to believe they are wrong.


We are meant to depend on God. To depend on one another. On the community around us. We are relational beings. 


When we unclench our fists and let go of the control we want over our lives- and give it over to God, something amazing happens. The pressure is lifted. It is no longer us against the world instead it is us with God


He gave us our individual desires and abilities for a reason. 


There is a reason I am so in love with Cape Town, South Africa that I went to live there for 2.5 years and have left a bit of myself there (and will be back again!).


There is a reason I have the dream to start my own business.


A reason I started this blog.


I do not believe that giving up control means giving up on your dreams - rather it is lifting them from our shoulders. Giving them over to a power far greater than our own. Giving ourselves the ability to be calm, to listen, to live and ultimately - just BE.


So join me. Choose to alleviate the pressure and focus on how you can change the way you look at yourself and your life so when someone asks, how are you? the answer is no longer just busy - rather it is something more. Because you are more than what you are doing. You are a HUMAN BEING.