The definition of productivity


On Our Three Main Desires

These days, we find ourselves with a seemingly unending list of questions with no answers. Even when an answer does come, we brace ourselves for how it will change. Last week, I wrote about how this pandemic is testing our shared human desire for security, control, and approval. Our security has been shaken because many of us don’t know if or how we’ll make a living in the coming months or what our summer or next school year looks like. Our control has been shaken because we can’t just “fix” COVID-19 and make everything return to the way it was. And our approval has been shaken because nearly every place where we found approval, from a paycheck to a graduation ceremony, to a hug, is at risk or has ceased altogether. This much change is unusual, our bodies and minds aren’t built for it. But there are ways to focus on what you can control in your life. Practice them today. Linkedin.


On Being Alone and Being Lonely

The two are very different. In our pre-Covid lives, some of us might have preferred being alone to engaging in large social activities. Some of us might have thrived at parties and social gatherings. Now, some of us are quarantined at home with our families for days on end, while others are all alone in studios and one-bedroom apartments, craving social company. In this poignant piece, readers from around the country share their experiences on how they are dealing with these long stretches of social isolation. Some are thriving, while others are feeling terribly alone. These are incredibly heartfelt, human stories, unfiltered. Give it a read and a listen. New York Times.


On Productivity 

We all feel the pressure to be productive. Ironically, most of the time this pressure doesn’t come from our parents or professors or friends, but from ourselves. Trust me, I know. During these strange times, you might feel that you have to be extra productive — whether it be reading, baking sourdough bread, or picking up the ukulele. While all those things are great, they do not define you. There is absolutely no need to be doing and creating all the time. Sometimes, especially now, it is enough to simply be. It’s easier to do than you might think. Give yourself some grace. If you need a reminder, enjoy this lovely poem by our Experience Lab Teammate, Stella Cai.


The definition of productivity is relative

If you are a tree, to be productive
you draw water from your roots and grow new leaves

If you are a leaf, to be productive,
you take in CO2 and soak up light

If you are light, to be productive
you travel through space and reach planet earth

If you are earth, to be productive
you orbit the sun and keep your moon close

If you are the moon, the Earth’s moon, to be productive
you orbit the earth and send waves crashing onto shores

If you are the shore, to be productive
you connect the sea and the land

If you are the land, to be productive
you nurture the lives dependent upon you

If you are alive, to be productive
you can do your best to breathe

If you are breath,
you can let go.