An Open Letter to All the Driven People Out There

Dear Entrepreneurs, Type-A Personalities, and Ridiculously Productive People,  

This time of the year every second counts.  I know it, you know it. Let’s be honest; if you are anything like me, then you are trying to squeeze as much as you can into every day so that when you are “off” you can really be “off.” There is nothing worse than having to do work when you are supposed to be spending time with the family.

In order to make this dream happen, it becomes imperative to focus on productivity. And if you know me, then you know that I am a productivity junkie. I use apps, calendars, and anything else that will help me squeeze a couple more precious useful minutes into my day. Last week was a perfect example: school papers, sermon, meetings, and I got them all done!!!! I felt as if I were winning on a major level.

I came to the end of the week and I realized something – I forgot to write my blog.

I was so busy being productive that I forgot about everything else. Blogging may not seem that important (truthfully, it’s not), but in my life blogging represents a creative outlet. Blogging is something I do as a practice for me, to make me better, and I like it. I was so focused on getting stuff done that I forgot to take time to be creative.

Productivity and creativity aren’t natural enemies, but in a purpose-driven world they can feel like oppositional forces.

What I’m learning through this journey is that I am more more productive when I give myself permission to be creative (through whatever medium I choose), and, while being creative doesn’t always feel as if I’m getting stuff done, the outlet of creativity refuels my soul. The thing about missing my creative outlet is that few people will notice, but no one will notice more than me.

Creativity gives me the space I need to be productive.

If you are a super-productive person, if you are doing a lot, if you have an unmanageable schedule, let me give you some free advice from someone who has crashed and burned more than once: Make creativity part of your life. Do something that refuels your soul. Put it on your list if you have to.  Just don’t let yourself become so productive that you have no space in your life for creativity. Your creativity can make you more productive than you could ever imagine.

Sincerely,

Someone who is learning the hard way.