Productive

I have been thinking about how I define the word productive.  I realized I needed to change my thinking about what that word means.

For the last four or so years, since I went back to work full time, everything I did was quantifiable.  I wrote a report and it measured things, I wrote a sql query and it fixed things, I wrote a recommendation software was purchased.  At the end of the day I could point to the things I’d done and say “Look what I got done today!”

There were parts of my job, like managing staff, answering questions or doing a training that at the end there was no measure of the result, those days I felt like I didn’t accomplish anything, that I wasn’t productive.  It wasn’t true, I was doing my job, doing things that needed to be done, but I couldn’t measure it as easily and it usually didn’t take anything off my “to do” list so I didn’t feel productive.

Now, much of what I do, almost all, in fact, falls into that same realm.  At the end of the day I can’t point to a quantifiable result, unless I started counting diapers.  I realized one day that my need for a quantifiable result was robbing me of my happiness, of my ability to enjoy my baby.  On days where he needed me to hold him the whole day, instead of relishing my ability to give him the comfort he needed, all I could think of is how I didn’t get anything done!

Since I realized that fact, I’ve been trying to alter my thinking.  That holding my baby when he needs me is getting something done, it is the most productive thing I can be doing with my time.

Now, I only had this epiphany a little while ago, so I’m still working on it.  I still look around my house at all the things I didn’t DO and sigh a little.  But when I’m there, holding my baby I’m feeling the joy of what that work is doing, seeing what result it has.  That is a win.

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