Case Study: Environmental Productivity

Just in case you think I am knocking life out of the park, today will be a case study of environmental productivity. Or lack thereof.

Last month our oldest got an apartment of her own. Not a dorm room, not campus housing. The kind of place where you have to furnish it yourself. Which cause a mass exodus of furniture from our house. 

Which is absolutely ok and what we planned for. We raised our kids to become independent young adults. But this rite of passage has left left a hole in our environmental productivity. We are slowing puttering our way through this home makeover, but it has left my environmental surroundings unsettled. 

  • We moved beds around so I no longer have a bed in my office. Yay!
  • There is a closet I could podcast from, but there I no power in the closet. Boo. 
  • I now have more space for craft supplies and activities. Yay!
  • There is no budget for purchasing furniture to reorganize supplies and activities. Boo. 

I want to use what we have in our home to creatively furnish these repurposed spaces instead of buying new. I am less excited about the hassle of navigating used purchases from Facebook Marketplace or yard sales. 

So this is the current state of things – podcasting from the floor. 

I can make it about 5 minutes before my foot falls asleep and I have to pause the recording and change positions. My back hurts the whole time I am sitting here. I certainly won’t be able to have guests over to record with me on the floor. But I am not sure where I want what activities to happen so I am trying to be patient and let the solutions evolve. 

It reminds me of the story I shared in episode 24 of the Sustainable Productivity podcast about physical clutter. A university task force could not agree on where to put the sidewalks for a new construction project. Finally they decided to just wait to see where people walked and put sidewalks there. 

I am going to stop worrying about finding the perfect space for things or perfect things for the space and just live with what I have for now. Sometimes Sustainable Productivity is about accepting the current status.

Sustainable You Reflections

  1. Is there something in your environment that is making you uncomfortable?
  2. Do you feel uncomfortable NOT making a decision and just sitting with several options? Why do you think that is?

Until next time remember to create productive results in a way that you can sustain and that work for you. 

By |2023-08-06T11:11:32-04:00August 15th, 2023|Environmental Surroundings|0 Comments

Procrastination, Part 2 – A SusPro Case Study

Sometimes procrastination happens because the goal feels (and often is) insurmountable to accomplish in 1 step. You cannot leap from point A to point B, but you can take 10 small steps to get you from point A to point B. This is the power of small steps.

This is part 2 about procrastination. You can read part 1 here, although it is not necessary to understand part 2. But with all things, starting with why is usually your best bet. Part 1 deconstructs some of the why behind procrastination.

Sometimes procrastination happens because it feels overwhelming to have to stop and figure out how to break the goal into smaller steps. This is the power of a Sustainable Productivity (SusPro) case study!

Non-SusPro Scenario
In March of this year I completed my employee health screening for my day job. The results were poor – my blood pressure, blood sugar and weight were each at an all time high. This information about my weight made sense considering how my joints were feeling – especially my knees and hips.

This was not the result I wanted and this was not something I could continue lifelong. This was not a SusPro lifestyle.

These days you cannot swing a dead cat without hitting ads for weight loss. I have a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology and have coached enough people to know one of the least SusPro goals you can set is, “LOSE WEIGHT.” This often leads to short term, unhealthy fixes

Sure it is productive – you get the weight loss result you want. But it is not sustainable – you cannot continue it long term. Eventually the unhealthy fix catches up to you.

So I looked at what was not working – food, exercise and stress – and made a few adjustments to each.

Adjustment 1 – Eat more fruits and veggies. This alone is not a SMART goal, but applying the small, sustainable steps idea made it so.

In March I was not eating much if any fruits and vegetables. So in March my goal was 1 serving per day. I tracked this in the MyFitnessPal app. In April I upped it to 2 servings per day. May’s goal was 3 servings per day, but by then I had started my breakfast smoothie routine which gets my 5 servings per day – before I even wake up enough to remember I don’t really like fruits and vegetables!

Adjustment 2 – Move more. Same situation here – “more” is not really a SMART goal, but I started where I was and made small adjustments each week, tracking on my daily habit tracker.

I was mostly just doing my daily dog walk in March. Luckily this is the time of year where I live that the weather starts to improve. I started road biking more often (increasing by 10% longer time per week). And I got back in the hot yoga room.

Adjustment 3 – Have more fun. This one was a head scratcher for a bit. How do you quantify “fun?” How do you know when you get more of it?

I took the SusPro approach to see what was NOT working. Around this time I had a bit of a meltdown with Bixby where I was whining (perhaps shouting) about how much I hated the time we lost to the TV. I felt like a sloth every night collapsing into the couch for a couple hours with my phone and the remote.

Not productive. Not sustainable. Not fun.

But it sure was time I could count on. Different people might leave the house after dinner to conquer the world, but not us. I decided to work with where I was and use this brain suck time to boost my fun.

I started to designate a craft as TV time craft. Knitting, painting, hand sewing are my current favorites. I might be able to take that knitting project in the car on a road trip, but nope – it is my TV time craft.

So far it is working and I have lots of scarves to donate or gift.

Yarn from a trip to Black Mountain, NC wound and ready for TV Time Crafting!

Results and Readjustments
Although this message is more about the process of breaking goals into small steps, not telling you the result would be like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book without which page to turn to.

I had my annual physical with my doctor a few weeks ago (about 4 months after my work screening). My weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar are all down significantly. And you already know about the scarf pile from Tv time crafts. Fun increase for sure.

I talked about a few adjustments in the Summer Status Update and will be making a few more as we move into Fall. Notice these are adjustments – not just doing MORE MORE MORE or eating LESS LESS LESS. For example, as the weather turns colder, what adjustments will be made with biking. Stay tuned!

Sustainable You Questions
1. Is there an area of Health, Happiness, or Home that is not working for you right now or that feels unsustainable?
2. Where do you want to be in 4 months?
3. What small step could at least lean you in that direction?

By |2022-08-27T08:49:09-04:00August 30th, 2022|Habit Change|0 Comments
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