Desert Flour

A 20-Something's Musings on Life, Love and Faith

Balancing Productivity and Being a Sloth

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When mountains of papers, binders and folders crowd my desk, to-do lists in five different expo marker colors cover the entirety of my whiteboard and gold flagging stars mark nearly every email in my inbox – I go to work.  I am a tornado of productivity from filing papers, responding to messages, making calls, doing research, mailing letters, tracking down signatures, writing and editing and more editing. (Anyone else experiencing the slow-death joy that is group writing?)

This easily translates into post-work activities. When I have an 8-5 workday and then another dose of meetings, volunteer work and social functions for the next 5-6 hours, I grab a granola bar and throw myself into my extracurriculars and relationships.

I like to be busy. I thrive off of constant activity.

Besides working full time I volunteer at a grief center for children and families. I am Social and Co-Mission Chair for an active group that meets weekly and does mission and ministry work throughout the city. I sing in my Church choir. I am in a book club. I plan date nights with the hubs and happy hours with my friends. I call my sisters at least once a week. I’m applying for doctorate grad school programs. (How this all fits into my introverted personality will have to be explored later…).

Oh and don’t forget all of those other life necessities: grocery shopping, meal cooking, laundry folding, pet feeding fun! I even go to the gym 2-3 times a week (or at least most weeks…).

However this manic frenzy of Getting. Ish. Done. only works when there is that claustrophobic feeling of having so very much to get done. When I have one folder on my desk and maybe one pending email – it will take me all 9 hours of my work day to get through them. Literally my arm will reach over to that folder with the same speed of a two-toed sloth stretching for the next branch.



This has nothing to do with deadlines. It’s not that last minute productivity magic that encourages so many people to become efficiency masters when the count-down buzzer has started. No, it’s literally just a workflow to work-pending ratio.

For example choir practice. Meets every Thursday evening at 7:30pm. If I am having a Tornado day, I’ll finish work, go to the gym, feed the kitty, make dinner, go to choir practice and come home and visit with the hubs. But on a sloth day – I’ll amble home from work, stare into our refrigerator for several minutes eventually grab chips and salsa and turn on Netflix. Around 7:15pm I will have a debate with myself about the merits of going to sing vs. continuing my Supernatural marathon. (Spoiler – those Winchester brothers often win in this argument).winchesters

My logical brain tells me: busy day at work = relaxing day at home. Or even the opposite: slow day at work = efficient housekeeping and social visiting at home. Nope.

I’ll give you tornado=tornado and sloth=sloth. I am the human scientific proof of Newton’s First Law of Motion – “An object at rest stays in rest and an object in motion stays in motion.”

Does anyone else seem to follow this whacky pattern? Or do you function with more balance in your schedule?


One thought on “Balancing Productivity and Being a Sloth

  1. Now you understand why the first thing I do when walking into the door is to go to the dishwasher and put dishes away… if I do not do it when I am still upright, then it will stew in the sink and slowly, but surely heighten my cleanliness neurosis.


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