When Moments of Stillness Lead to a Productivity Boost

“Seek out a tree and let it teach you stillness.” 

Eckhart Tolle

Have you ever felt like you’re reaching a plateau over and over again?

In an age in which we have collected a wealth of experience and information — putting some of it to good use, while others remain in the backburner — there always comes a moment in our lives in which progress feels stalled. Frozen.

We are left with that uncomfortable feeling that we are going back to square one in our great life plans.

Even when our minds are producing ideas, looking for solutions, creating goals, making plans, all these periods of activity are followed by periods of quietness. It’s a natural process.

But here’s the good news: Plateaus are not only inevitable but necessary.

In those moments we might feel that we are not advancing in any area of our lives, but in reality, we are. Just by being aware that we are “stuck”, it’s a sign that a change is imminent even if we don’t know exactly what to change, or how to change “it”.

Plateaus are productive. If we are up to the challenge to accept them.

Accepting a plateau for what it is, is an awesome opportunity to step aside and take time to listen to our intuition. Any feelings that we experience during a time of suspension, are key to figuring out what is going on inside our minds and bodies.

Have you heard about the ‘5 Whys’ technique by Toyoda? It’s an analytical process in which an issue is addressed by repeating “Why” after each answer, creating the basis of the next question. In five Whys you should be able to find the root cause of the issue. Sometimes it takes less Whys or more, but you get the idea.

The point is that any small action that we take during stalling periods will lead us to some discoveries. These discoveries will help us have a clearer vision to create the roadmap of our desired improvements.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. — Confucius

Every time I feel lost, or roaming, I take time off from my busy day to connect with myself. I don’t mean for this “connection” to sound cliché, but the truth is that activities in which we spend time with ourselves can go a long way in helping us quiet the mind and get our creative juices flowing: meditating, reading, listening to music, a hobby, a hot bath, enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, watching that episode we never have time to watch on Netflix, Yoga, exercising, taking a walk, doodling, daydreaming, house chores. Anything that will take our minds off our daily routines.

We don’t need to improve everything today. With patience and commitment, we will be able to look back and understand how well we have improved. One day at a time.

That’s how it works.

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