I had a friend ask me that question the other night and it stopped me in my tracks.
Stopped me hard enough that I found myself stumbling over words for a second as I tried to process an answer before settling on a totally lame sounding “Umm… yeah, I guess so maybe.”
Let me rewind just a moment.
The whole topic came up because I was catching up with a long time, very good friend that has moved across the country to pursue a career with TEDTalks.
As life has a way of doing when friends move far apart, we don’t get to chat as often anymore. But we were enjoying a good hour long conversation just catching up on what we’ve been up to lately.
He asked me that question, “Do you feel productive?”, after I was filling him in on the podcasting here with Adventures in Creativity and digitalSoup, as well as how I’m finding myself enjoying the push to try to write daily, continue pursuing photography, AND work a full time day job, as well as be a husband/father to my little family.
When I was stumbling for an answer, because I honestly didn’t have one, he laughed a bit and clarified by adding “Because that is some A level output man.”.
The thing is, it really did stop me in my tracks.
To be completely honest, it’s something I’ve been thinking about ever since.
Not because it felt good to be recognized for putting in the work, which of course always feels good.
The truth is, I’ve been noodling on the question because it’s something that never even occurred to me.
In one of my latest episodes I remember making a statement about how my way of coping with personal stress is to just throw myself into my creativity.
Be it writing. Photography. Music. As long as I’m creating something it serves as a, possibly unhealthy, way for me to mentally get through the difficult times.
That’s a topic for another article or episode.
But as such, I never stop to think about or analyze how productive I’m being in that moment.
I’m just busy riding the creativity train. Enjoying the gaze of the muse that, in that moment, is blessing me with another idea. Another thought to chew on, discover, and ultimately put into motion creating something.
In other words… I’m just in the flow.
Is it important to self analyze our productivity in that regard?
Clearly, if you are relying on your creativity as your income keeping tabs and measuring actual productivity is essential.
But what about for the rest of us?
Those of us that pursue creativity, not as a career necessarily, but because we just need that outlet?
Does the act of tracking your productivity actually benefit you?
As I sit here writing this, another interesting thought is presenting itself. That being, is tracking productivity sending a signal to us as creatives?
When we find we are putting in work to the point that productivity enters the conversation, is that a signal that maybe we are on to something worth tracking?
Opportunity waiting right there for us to take that next leap of faith forward?
I don’t have an answer, but the question of “Do you feel productive?” has really taken hold in my mind.
How about you?
Do you feel productive? Well, do ya?
David (Usually Dave) Szweduik is a photographer, podcaster, and all around geek from the great state of Minnesota and can be found weekly on his podcast Adventures in Creativity. There you’ll find him having conversations fueled by curiosity around the amazing world of all things creativity. If you want even more terrific creativity based content, feel free to join the fun with the Newsletter!