Often it seems like productivity discussions focus on narrow areas, such as work, or maybe managing our households. But we are all multifaceted people, wearing many hats and having lives composed of many elements and components that affect who we are and what we care about. We are workers, citizens, friends, and creators. Some of us are bosses, some are entrepreneurs, some of us are wives, some of us are moms; all of us are human beings made up of body, soul, and spirit.
Multifaceted productivity and making a life that matters
In thinking about this, I decided I wanted to start a new series this year (which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago). In this recurring “Productive Living” series, I’ll talk to women with expertise or insights in various areas that are important to us in making a life that matters. This series will feature conversations with women in several key areas, which I wanted to introduce this week.
1. Health – The healthier we are, physically and mentally, the better we’re able to pursue productivity in the other areas of our life. Yet it’s often one of the last things we pay attention to when our lives are full.
- Healthcare issues
2. Relationships – We as women are relational beings. So much of what we think about is in relation to the people in our lives, which is why I think it’s important to focus on. Because in order to make a life that matters, we need to focus on our relationships.
3. Money – Many of us have a complicated relationship with money. For example, one study I read about found that of the study participants, more women find investment stressful, while more men find it exciting. [from 5 Myths We Believe About Women & Money – study report: ISU professor studies gender differences in investment behavior].
- Preparing for emergencies/retirement
4. Career – This is a big part of our lives, both in terms of time and attention invested. In some cases we spend years studying for a career or profession or take big leaps to start a business, and at certain times of our life we might spend more time at work than with our family.
- Choosing a career
- Professional development
- Business development
- Working with bosses, co-workers, employees
5. Mindset and Self-care – I feel like this is an area that often gets overlooked, but it’s key to our productivity, both in the sense of getting things accomplished and of generally making a life that matters as we define it.
- Mind management
- Mental health
- Self-care routines & habits
- Making time for self-care
6. Home – Whether it’s your full-time job or something done in addition to another job or business, whether you do it all yourself or direct a staff of housekeepers and cooks, making a house (or apartment or RV or hut) into a home, maintaining it, etc., is part of our productive lives. As Joshua Becker talks about in The Minimalist Home (TPW324 Productive Reading series), a home can be a place to come back to (a haven from the outside world) and a place to go out from (a launching pad, a source of strength). But it can only be those things if we spend time, energy, and attention on making our home into what we need it to be.
- Organization (including decluttering)
- Maintenance (including knowing when and how to ask for or hire help)
- Home-making, which might include topics like:
- Color theory . . . how to use color to make our homes feel like we need them to feel
7. Creativity and Fun – Creativity is another area that is a fundamental element of our humanity, but it often gets sidelined for many of us who don’t make our living in the arts.
- Making time and space for creativity
- Different expressions of creativity
- How fun and productivity or creativity and productivity are tied together
- Why fun matters
This year, we’ll be looking at ways to strengthen ourselves in these various areas of our lives, and especially at ways to harmonize them, rather than seeking a perfect (and likely unattainable) balance among them. I’d love to hear from you if there’s a particular area or topic you’d like me to address in this series, or if there’s a woman who’s been particularly influential in your life in a particular area who you think would be a good guest to feature in this series.
Resources and Links
- 5 Myths We Believe About Women & Money
- ISU professor studies gender differences in investment behavior
- TPW324 Productive Reading series
What do you think?
Is there an area of your life that you’re especially interested in growing this year? Please share your questions or thoughts in the comments section below this post or on The Productive Woman’s Facebook page, or send me an email.
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Royse City, Texas