I used to be obsessed with productivity.

How to get the most work done in the shortest amount of time.

Making sure that no time is wasted. Every hour of my day must be spent on something ‘productive’. Reading. Exercising. Working. Learning a new language.

I turned hours into checkboxes.

And I wanted to check every box, because it feels good.

Sometimes I would go like this for weeks. Being a ‘productivity zombie’.

Listing ten things to do. Doing them in one day.

Moving from item 1 to item 2, then item 3 until I reached item 10.

Once I ran out of things to do, I just invent a new one.

Sometimes it’s not relevant to my life at all, I just did it because I needed to feel productive. I needed to keep myself busy.

I needed the list to keep going.

After a few weeks of lists, the whole thing started to feel pointless.

On paper, I was productive.

In reality, I felt like I haven’t done anything.

I was doing the thing, but I wasn’t fully aware of what I was doing.

Take my workout routine as an example.

For three years now, I’ve been exercising almost every morning, as a part of my Miracle Morning.

At the beginning of this year, it started to lose its appeal. It started to feel like a routine, like something that I just needed to get done.

I kept saying to myself, you only needed to do this for 30 minutes, then you’re free to do other things!

30 minutes turned into 20, then 15.

I didn’t even finish my 20-minute yoga flow.

As long as I get to check ‘exercise’ off of my to-do list…

One day, I realized that it couldn’t go on like this forever.

I needed that magic back.

So I asked myself, what do I want to get out of my routine?

I wanted to stay healthy and toned and fit and flexible, regardless of my age.

And I wanted to have fun doing it.

So I pushed myself once again, this time with a different approach. Instead of an easy 15-minutes yoga video, I started to search and follow a 45-minutes intermediate yoga video.

I also explored dancing, something I’ve never really done before.

Turned out I just needed to feel challenged, and I learned that needed some time before I really get into the flow.

My 1-hour workout is now something I look forward to.

Are you really productive? Or are you just checking things off of your list?

Are you really living your life? Or just merely existing?

Published by Ascencia Fike

Hello! I'm an affiliate specialist at Ninja Forms. I love books, food, and yoga. You can find my writings here and on Medium.