I am a little more than halfway through Mystie Winckler's Simplified Organization course, and it has far exceeded my expectations. I find her consistently insightful and thought-provoking, even on topics I've been wrangling with myself for years.
I think a lot about productivity, and one of the things that occurred to me --hmm, several months ago, I think -- is that I am bad at planning to recharge. It's not just that I forget to plan for it; even when I remember that I am supposed to include some restful moments on the schedule I am making, I stare blankly at the page as I try to figure out what they should contain. I have a habit of making myself a to-do list with a preposterous number of items upon it. Sometimes I do them all and feel burned out; more often I do some of them and get discouraged. I am really bad at saying, "That is enough things for today. Stop writing things down." And I am even worse at saying, "When I have been working for 2 hours, I am going to do [something genuinely restorative] as a quick reset."
This doesn't mean that I don't take breaks; it means I take unplanned stupid breaks that I don't even enjoy. (I don't even want to know how much time I spent scrolling through Facebook last week. I used to enjoy Facebook a lot, back in 2009 when I had a small list of friends, participated in frequent online conversations with them, and welcomed the respite from my fascinating but isolating dissertation research. It probably helped that there was no presidential election happening in 2009. These days FB is much more likely to rile me up or cause a surge of judginess to smite me like a suppurating sore. But! I have a new Plan re: FB! Hope springs eternal.)
Anyway-- I have productive days, in which I want to do MOOOAAAAAARRRR things, until I am wrung out and burned out, and unproductive days, in which I think, "Productivity is probably overrated," as I click from Facebook to Twitter.
This post is reminding me of something Jen Fulwiler wrote ages ago, something I read with a great deal of resistance at the time. "Nooooo! There must be a way to do All The Things!" Mystie Winckler talks a lot about finding sustainable strategies, and even more about remembering why we are working. It's good stuff, with a nice blend of thinky/planny segments and practical segments.
Today at Adoration it occurred to me that the desire to be super-productive is akin to greed. I don't think I'm especially greedy about material things, but the desire to accrue more checks on my to-do list is very strong in me. The sensation of having done enough, of being free to rest, is foreign to me. I am very quick to identify overeagerness for leisure as a fault, but the reverse is...desirable, right? Virtuous, even?
Like many aha moments, this one sounds obvious now that I have written it down. But it's something I need to work on.