Wanna Be More Productive? Try Being Lazy. Allow me to explain…

My week in pics: Visiting a coffee farm, going horseback riding (with my new bestie Higa!) jumping in a waterfall during a rainstorm, doing a barrio tour, embarrassing myself during rumba and hip hop classes, indulging in a 13-course tasting menu (at one point we had to wash our hands in one chocolate!) enjoying a full day hike in a beautiful national park in the rain… 

Happy Friday!

And happy St. Patty’s Day! I have my green shamrock earrings on (yes, made sure I packed them when I left back in January… good thing I have my priorities straight!) and hope you’re sporting some green, too.

 

I had an epiphany this week. Contrary to what may make sense intellectually, maybe I’ll actually accomplish more by accomplishing less.

What do I mean?

It seems I’m trying to force being all one way all of the time, when it’s just not possible.

 

You want to be more productive? When was the last time you allowed yourself to be lazy?

You want to be happier? When was the last time you embraced your sadness?

You want to feel more connection? When was the last time you enjoyed time on your own?

 

Here’s the idea.

You can never be all of only one side of the spectrum, and none of the other. It just doesn’t work. And as long as we try, we’ll never win.

We’re never all one way with anything in life. We can’t ever just be one spoke of the wheel. We’re the whole wheel.

When I was completing my masters thesis, I used a theory called relational dialectics when examining end-of-life conversations.

Now stick with me here, I promise I’m not going to get all morbid on you, nor too academic.

However the theory speaks to the fact in every interaction, and in every dialogue, there are tensions at play. The three main ones are:

 

Autonomy-Connection:

We want to be connected to another individual, however at the same time be able to hang onto a sense of our own autonomy.

 

Openness-Closedness:

In our desire to build connection, we want to self-disclose certain information about ourselves. And, we also want to be sure to keep other things private.

 

Novelty-Predictability:

In our relationships we crave some newness to keep things exciting, however we also want to ensure we have certain rituals that make us feel comfortable and that we’re used to.

 

One of my ongoing struggles while being on this crazy Remote Year journey thus far, is trying to strike a balance between working and experiencing. And I’m not sure I’ve quite struck gold yet on that front.

And maybe it’s unrealistic to think I ever will.

First of all, I’m not sure balance even exists. And it’s not about being all in on one side without also embracing the opposite side, with respect to anything.

It’s about integration.

You’ll be more productive when you realize it’s okay to feel less than, or dare I say ‘lazy’ on occasion.

You’ll be happier when you realize it’s also okay to have off days.

And I bet you’ll experience increased connection when you realize you’re also perfectly fine on your own.

We don’t live in a black and white world. It doesn’t always have to be all or nothing. And although I’ve often said ‘go big or go home,’ perhaps that’s not necessarily the case.

So welcome both sides of the spectrum this week. Embrace it all. And perhaps in being okay with doing less, you’ll realize you’re actually doing more.

 

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on striving for integration instead of balance? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Balance is overrated. Or is it?

Ah yes, the infamous work-life balance debate. One would think the idea of balance would have a nice feel to it. And yet I fear it breeds more stress than sweet sounds when you hear it.

For so many, especially women, achieving a work-life balance seems to be one of the biggest and most common goals. It comes up amongst my clients all of the time.

And yet, in my humble opinion, we are doing ourselves a disservice when we set out to achieve a perfect work-life balance.

Balance insinuates equilibrium – where both sides, opposing forces, are on an equal plane at all times. Now I don’t know about you, however I think that is an impossible feat to manage all of the time, and so we are simply setting ourselves up for failure.

I hope you will allow me to indulge for a moment and share a few of my opinions on this matter.

 

Different stages dictate different priorities.

I really agree with the statement “You can have everything, just not all at the same time.” Honour where you are now, and what is most important now. Are you a new Mom? THAT is where your focus needs to be! Single in the city? Embrace the dating scene! Starting up a new business? Yeah, you are going to have some long days ~ so get used to it! No situation is forever – so don’t fight where you are and what is calling your time and energy today.

 

Stop comparing yourself to others!

There is nothing that is going to make you feel worse than looking at how you balance your work and life as compared to how others do it. So just STOP IT! And if you don’t know how to stop it, and are looking for a laugh, watch this video NOW!

It really comes down to values. For some, career is very important. To others, it’s all about family. And others still, perhaps being a vagabond is where it’s at. And just as our priorities are going to change at different times in our lives, so are our values.

Your definition of work-life balance is going to look different to the person next to you. So get clear on what it means to you, and stop comparing already! Chances are they are looking at you, thinking you’ve got it all figured out anyhow.

 

Treat every day as a new day because it is.

What scale are you using to measure work-life balance anyway? It’s hard to look at what it would mean to achieve work-life balance if you’re not even sure how you’re looking at it. Are you hoping to dedicate an equal amount to both sides on a daily basis? Or would you be okay with working hard during the week and playing hard over the weekend? Or putting in a hard month and then rewarding yourself with a holiday?

Your definition of work-life balance is going to depend on where you are in your life, what matters to you most, and how you choose to measure it. Stop attempting to achieve perfect equilibrium – it’s overrated, anyhow! (Click to tweet it out.)

 

Set yourself up for success; set realistic expectations based on what’s going on in your life right now. Embrace where you are, do the best you can do today, and know that you get another chance at it tomorrow.

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res