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09.18.2017 Sharon Spano, Ph.D.

How to Be Productive in a Hurricane

If you’ve read my latest book, The Pursuit of Time and Money, you know that I don’t have much faith in rigid productivity systems. In my experience, you can have all the best systems in place, but unless you have a paradigm shift in terms of how you think about time, you’ll probably find yourself jumping from one system to another.

In doing so, you won’t necessarily be more productive. You just might wind up more confused and overwhelmed.

Life happens. Hurricanes, real and perceived, come our way, and when they do, we need to be prepared to weather the storm and somehow attend to daily life. It’s called adaptability. The wisest people I know can lean into adversity and still find ways to be productive.

I’m writing this post in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, and, yes, I live in Florida. It was an intense experience and many are still without power or water. An even greater number are displaced and have lost their homes.

As we witness these losses in our midst, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama of the minute-to-minute news. Even if you’re not one who was in the wake of the latest storm, fire, or tornado, many of our daily routines can start to feel a bit senseless if we can attend to them at all.

How does one remain productive, then, in the midst of such overwhelming challenges?

Enter into the Small Spaces of Radical Abundance:

One of the premises I stress in my book is that of Radical Abundance. What I’m referring to here is the capacity to be intentional about life such that you’re equipped to enjoy contentment, passion, and purpose no matter the circumstances of your life.

If you’re not doing what is required to foster a mindset of abundance in the daily walk of life, it is doubtful that you’ll be able to access much comfort or joy while in the midst of adversity. Think of abundance like a muscle that needs to be developed. You can’t be expected to run the marathon of life in a weakened state of mind.

When we’re in the midst of some particular life challenge or crisis, a perspective of abundance can sound far fetched or even impossible. Begin, then, with doing something outside your comfort zone, particularly something for someone else in need, and watch what happens.

I was blessed to witness such abundance and joy earlier this week as displaced people entered our church’s emergency shelter. So many smiles and newfound relationships. Even in the midst of their fatique, worry, and stress, these people were compassionately bonding with one another in ways that took them beyond their own fear and discomfort.

While we can never make sense of natural disasters or the unnecessary suffering of others, we can make sense of how a community comes together in love and compassion for those in need. It is in those small spaces that abundance is fostered; it is there that we learn to come alive in joy and to fully experience a more meaningful and prosperous life.

The question then becomes less about how to overcome our own challenges and more about how to be productive on behalf of others.

Know Your Productivity Personality:

Once you have the muscle of Radical Abundance at least partially developed, you are then positioned to engage in the practical aspects of productivity. Rather than give you a litany of things I personally do, I want to invite you to tap into something exciting that my friend Michael Hyatt is offering.

Michael has just developed a Productivity Personality Assessment that will help you measure your own productivity. I took it myself just yesterday and found it quite interesting, and I know you will, too!

The assessment is fun and easy to take, and the good news is, you’ll know within minutes what your score is. Then, you’ll want to stay tuned as Michael has some additional videos and bonuses coming your way that will help you learn how to be more productive even in the midst of life’s pressing challenges.

Here in my town of Orlando, we are all struggling with getting back to work when many of our lives have been turned upside down. We are one of the lucky families who still has power and water, so I was able to take time away from work and our own personal clean up to volunteer at our emergency shelter earlier this week.

Here’s what I know.

Productivity can look a lot different when life challenges hit us. I wouldn’t have been able or even willing to take that time away from my own life if I didn’t enjoy a paradigm of abundance about both time and money.

No matter what’s going on in your world, you can be productive. It just may look a bit differently in such moments. What I can promise you from having weathered my own personal storms, is that mastering productivity in the darkest hours only prepares you to be more purposeful in every day life.

I hope you’ll take advantage of all that Michael Hyatt has to offer on this front. His work is a great way to deeper your life, and I’m honored to say that it greatly compliments my own work on radical abundance and time and money.

I consider Michael one of the most productive people I know. You can access his Productivity Personality Assessment here.

Reflective Question:

Think about all that you’ve witnessed over the last month in terms of real or perceived “hurricanes.” How has the onslaught of daily information impacted your potential to produce?

For instance, I know I’ve had some difficulty concentrating on my daily tasks when I know that so many are without homes, food, water, or power. Truth is, I’d much better be at the shelter today than writing this blog.

When you find yourself distracted by the hurricanes of life, what patterns do you fall into that either contribute or hinder your ability to be productive?

If you’d like to learn more about how to utilize your most vital resources of time and money during challenging times, check out my latest book, The Pursuit of Time and Money: Step Into Radical Abundance and Discover the Secret to a Meaningful Prosperous Life at SharonSpano.com or TheTimeMoneyBook.com.

Published by Sharon Spano, Ph.D. September 18, 2017