When I was directing fundraising programs, this question was written on a sticky note and attached above my desk so that I could keep my attention focused. If I felt myself straying, I could look up and ask myself that question. Was I just sending emails, or was I working on something with more purpose?
Since that development contract ended, I’ve seen that sticky note float around every now and then. I hadn’t thought about it much until recently since I’ve been working an extra gig. Now, I find my calendar full most days, and that’s great!
But, am I making time for the deep work? For my creative endeavors? Am I writing for the blog, for instance? Working on some of my other projects, whether in writing, publication, or film/tv/stage? Sadly, the answer more often than not was no…
Now in the new year I have to remember to keep my attention focused. Yes, the jobs I do must be done, and done well. But also, don’t neglect the deep work. The nourishment for the soul. That thing I get to leave behind me.
So again I get to ask myself: “Am I being productive? Or merely keeping busy?”