Work Consciously Audio Course: What Do You Want? | Steve's Quest: The Animated Musical Web Series

Work Consciously Audio Course: What Do You Want?

I can’t believe it was nearly a year ago that, on this very blog, we had our fascinating discussion about the productivity challenges readers are facing, and how mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga can help us move through those challenges.  It was an inspiring chat for me, and I’ve re-read it many times.

Last time I re-read the post, it proved to be more than just a source of nostalgia — it gave me the idea to put out an audio program dealing with the questions people asked in the comments, and in the many other settings where I’ve spoken to people about Inner Productivity.

I now have voluminous notes about what I’m going to say in the program, and I’ve started recording it.  Before I release it, I want to check in with you to make sure I’m not leaving out any concerns you may be dealing with in your working life, whether it comes to focusing, staying motivated, letting go of anxiety, actually enjoying what you do, or something else.  Simple as that.

So, I want to throw the floor open to you.  Maybe “throwing the floor” isn’t the most coherent figure of speech, but you get the point.  I want to know what you’d like to hear me address in the program, and if you let me know I’ll do my best to cover it.

To get the creative juices flowing, here’s a list of some common issues people raised in our earlier conversation:

Self-Starting:  “I’m working from home, and it’s hard to stay on task when no one’s keeping tabs on me.”

Overwhelm:  “I feel overwhelmed when I see a lot of items on my to-do list.”

Perfectionism:  “I struggle with a sense that I’ve got to do everything perfectly, or not do it at all.”

Inadequacy:  “I have trouble starting the project I want to do, because I worry that it’s not going to be good enough.”

Image Consciousness:  “I’m having difficulty doing the work I want to do, because I get too concerned about what others will think of it.”

“I haven’t done enough”:  “I keep getting to the end of the day, and feeling like I didn’t accomplish enough.”

Resentment:  “I get bogged down in resentment, because it seems like people are asking so much from me in my work.”

Distraction:  “My mind keeps jumping around to all kinds of different ideas when I’m trying to focus on something.”

How about you?  What issues would you like to hear about in the program?

12 thoughts on
Work Consciously Audio Course: What Do You Want?

  1. Evan

    One that I think is not just for me, I’ve heard it a lot; people thinking I am not working if I work from home – that they can just interrupt or that I can drop what I’m doing to do somethingn for them.

  2. Patricia

    I am still having trouble with money – in two parts…
    I did all my work volunteer or for donations all my life…now folks do not want to pay me for my efforts in similar areas and I feel courageous for holding on to my NO for unpaid work when I need some cash flow in my life
    and two

    When I get home from the interview or information sharing session then I wonder if what I do and how I do it has value for enough folks…should I be creating value and need? (Here is an example – yesterday I rejoiced with JD about having 2,700 subscribers and 30,000 visitors a month at his 2 year blog anniversary – I can readily see that Sources of Insight has tremendous value to folks from many avenues. I bypass jealous or envy to bless his success and then attempt to figure out how I might also be blessed with having some kind of value to attract folks to read and dialogue about my words – or make a donation)
    Many of my clergy friends are having the same problem because in this economy churches are struggling to hang on to having a clergy leader….and paying for a pastor…Of course many, many my age are retiring right now…many men are selling insurance and many women are becoming massage therapists – I do not even have the money to take those trainings?
    I hope I am being clear…?

  3. Davina

    Hi Chris.

    I’d like to expand on perfectionism… “struggle with a sense that I’ve got to do everything perfectly, or not do it at all.” What I struggle with lately is self-discipline around writing every day… fitting it into my daily routine. If I don’t have an hour (or believe I have an hour) I don’t do it. So not doing it at all because I don’t have the “perfect” space of time… keeps nagging at me. Grrrr.

  4. Chris - Post author

    Hi Evan — yes, I’ve also heard that from a number of people who work from home. In my experience, the piece that’s often missing from people’s description of the issue is how they react when they get that kind of request — many people say to me that they don’t feel capable of setting a boundary with the other person, because after all they’re at home “not doing anything.” What I often suggest is this: there’s probably some feeling or sensation telling you that you aren’t able to set a boundary in this moment, and just getting clear on what that feeling is, where it is in the body, etc. can help to put it in perspective.

  5. Chris - Post author

    Hi Patricia — yes, I can get how it would take courage to stand firm in your request for money when people are asking for free services and you clearly have a deep compassion for them. It sounds like you get the importance of giving that compassion to yourself as well as to others. When you asked “should I be creating value?” I felt a little sad, because I got the sense that you’re doubting that your writing is creating value right now, and I know that it is for me.

  6. Chris - Post author

    Hi Davina — it sounds like you doubt that you’re going to be able to write, or at least write something of high enough quality, if you don’t think you have at least an hour to write. I wonder what the raw feeling is that comes up for you when you say to yourself “I don’t have a full hour” — when you said “grrr” I imagined that it was anger. Another thing I wondered was whether there’s someone who the writing needs to be “good enough” for — in other words, whose standards will you fail to meet if you write for less than an hour at a time?

  7. Chris - Post author

    Hi Jannie — I’m definitely looking forward to sharing the audio, now that I’ve had the opportunity to have so many discussions of Inner Productivity with generous souls such as yourself.

  8. Patricia

    Yes Chris,
    I am glad you find value in what I have to say, but I am feeling like I have a very small share of the value I feel I am worth coming to me right now…

    So I am measuring ways to be appreciated and valued in ways that seem important to me now, such as financially and if my blog is taking up too much time…should I be working on a book or keep job hunting at a bigger pace?

    I had 300 subscribers last December 2009 – became ill and by early spring 2010 had dropped to 16 subscribers….am now back up to 105 with hours and hours of work…as I approach the 3 year mark is this where I should be putting my energies….then then I look at Silver and Grace which covers many of the same things and is moving to a magazine format…..and increasing in readership by leaps and bounds…
    What value is Eliza giving that folks want….and they may not be getting from my words and endeavors….
    I am in transition…looking deeply at value of my time spent…evaluating value for sure

  9. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work

    Hi Chris, I’m sure you’ve read both Pressfield’s the War of Art and Godin’s Linchpin. They both do a pretty thorough job of sharing their take on what Resistance is and how to understand it. But I find that they also both pretty much follow the Nike philosophy of “just do it!” I’m betting that you can ad real value by digging deeper into the :how to” by sharing actual methods that go beyond mere understanding. Best of good fortune to you in your project.

  10. Chris - Post author

    Hi Patricia — it sounds like this time of reevaluation is painful for you, and that you also see the value of it, because you’re taking conscious control of the direction you’re going with your work and life rather than following the same old pattern.

  11. Chris - Post author

    Hi Tom — I think that’s a helpful way to sum up what I’m doing — sharing some methods for working through the difficult sensations that come up when we’re trying to get through a project. I don’t tend to suggest the “just do it” approach because, in my experience, when we try to fight against a thought or sensation that’s coming up, telling it to shut up, etc., that can be physically draining and rob us of the energy we could have used to move forward in the project. My sense is that taking the “resistance” label off the sensation, and dropping our own resistance to it, can make us able to move forward even when it’s coming up.

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