Being productive usually associated with work harder and not enjoying life.
But, does it really necessary to forget about enjoying life in order to achieve higher productivity?
Let’s think about it once again.
I used to be a control freak. I want everything going as I planned all the time.
For example, I tried to fit all the habit I want to do and create a schedule that looks like this:
5.00 wake up
5.02 drink a glass of water
5.05 take a shower
5.45 reading a book
7.00 doing this
7.30 doing that
…and so on
A schedule like that worked great… only for the first week.
On the second week, my schedule actually goes like this:
5.00 still sleeping
6.00 snoozing alarm
6.15 snoozing alarm again
6.30 actually turn off the alarm
7.00 willing to go out of bed
8.00 actually wake up
8.10 willing to do all the habit
8.15 realize that I’m late and feeling so exhausted
8.30 back to sleep again
21.00 “What have I done? I shouldn’t do this!” session started.
Everytime. I feel like a loser.
What’s wrong? Do all the system fail me? Or do I fail the system?
Maybe both is true. All I got is being stressed and feeling guilty because I haven’t got anything done yet.
Two days ago, I actually found a book that promised to teach me about getting things done without feeling stressed.
The title is “The Lazy Guru’s Guide to Life: The Mindful Art of Achieving More by Doing Less” by Laura Shorter.
The first time I heard that title, I thought:
Lazy Guru, huh? Am I really that desperate to learn how to be productive from a ‘Lazy Guru’?
I end up bought that book.
I was surprised. I actually finished all 300ish pages less than one hour. Productive isn’t it?
Well… It’s because the book looks like this:
I enjoyed the book. The illustration is awesome. Laura creates it with full of jokes that resonate me. I actually learned something in a fun and simple way.
So now, I’m gonna share with you what I learned from the “almighty” Lazy Guru about getting things done without being stressed.
Do Not Mess Up With The Flow
According to Positive Psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
Flow or the zone is a mental state of operation in which the person immersed with energized focus, full involvement and enjoyment in the process of creativity.
To be in the flow is not a complicated thing. We naturally born with that state of flow which help us to do creative work at ease and enjoyable.
But just like a mountain, our body have ups and downs. We cannot be in the flow all the time.
There may have been some time when we feel do not like to do anything. Especially in a bad mood when a problem happened.
When we in a bad mood, sometimes we tried hard and force the flow to come, but the result is we only get stressed and feeling guilty because we cannot reach it.
It feels like you run in a hamster ball. You run, faster, faster, and faster but you didn’t get anywhere. You’re stuck.
It actually happened to me a few days ago when writing this piece. I believe that you may ever feel the same too.
So what do we do then?
Let Go of Control
The Lazy Guru told us that the possible way to getting things done is to let go of control. To let ourselves do our things when the time comes.
But will it work? Or is it just an excuse to be lazy?
Geez, we learned it from The Lazy Guru, of course, it is the lazy way. But yes, it works.
If we look at nature, we usually see them as whole and beautiful. Without ever needed to be organized by anyone. Because it doesn’t have to.
We see the pattern repeating in animals, plant, mountain, river, and even ourselves as a human.
When people come together, they are capable of doing amazing things with a simple rule: Without being told what to do.
Because conscious or not, your mind is naturally self-organized itself. You effortlessly make millions of decisions every day. Without thinking about it. What to eat, what to wear, which way is the school, and many more decisions every single minute.
You are naturally genius at being in the flow. Even when you have to make a super complex decision. For example, what education that you have to study next? What kind of job that you wanted to do? Who is gonna be the mother of your children?
You tend to be stressed at first, but in the end, you actually make a decision even the reason has come from an “unthinking” place. It just mysteriously comes.
How did it happen?
Put Aside The Thinking Mind
When we are in the flow, it’s because we relaxed enough to process all the information which turn leads to more creative and effortless action.
Most of us have been taught that we have to work hard to be more productive and produce a high capacity outcomes.
But actually, none of these approaches uses much effort. Instead, we have to follow another simple rule: Put aside the thinking mind and allow something else to happen.
For example, I wrote this piece using this principle. I started the first draft on Tuesday at 5am. I got stuck. After that, I left it unfinished for 3 days, go to the beach and do something else.
In Friday, I woke up at 4am, feeling like I have to finish this piece and well, it happened by itself, the flow has happened again.
If you are an entrepreneur, you might be stressed about the schedule you have, the problem that you faced, etc.
Take a moment to relax and do anything else that doesn’t relate to your work. Your mind will fix the problem by itself when the time comes without you realizing it.
Do not worry that you will never make it. Set a clear deadline.
Trust it, and you’ll never miss the deadline.
3 Simple Skills of Lazy Guru’s Method
But, what if I lived in an environment that force me to be a control freak all the time that I have to work overtime just to feel okay?
It actually happens to many of us. The Lazy Guru said that we have to untangle the knots if we want to restore the natural flow.
It’s the art of making space for all the problems to solve themselves. There are three simple skills that we can learn to easily make space in our everyday life:
By stopping, you interrupt the pattern by stress-based action. Whatever you’re doing, when you feel do not like to do it, or not enjoying it, you could wait.
take a deep breath.
Whatever happens next, let it.
It is the first step to mindfulness. Stop.
By feeling, you open yourself to a various wide of data around you.
Scan your body.
Feel your toe.
Be aware. It’s like meditate.
Notice that this moment includes much more than you are normally aware of. Feelings, sensations, memories, etc.
If there any tension, relax, give space, let it be.
Let your thought and feelings flow.
c. Let Go
By letting go, you allow for new action to arise from the information.
Can you let go of it?
Can you let go of everything just for a moment?
If you can relax, wait, and open yourself to something that might be totally unknown. Let go, Let it be.
But, you have to realize that it is impossible to force yourself to let go.
Letting go is something you can do by giving up your ideas and relaxing. Including the idea of letting go.
Just do your best. Notice when you are tense and holding on, keep noticing and wait.
The Lazy Guru‘s method is a proof that being productive isn’t the same as being busy. We can enjoy life and yet still productive at the same time.
Let go of control, let the mind self-organize itself. Remember to practice the skill of stop, feel, and let go every time we do not feel like doing anything.
Enjoy your life and get more productive at the same time! Good Luck!