Measuring Life in Presence, NOT Productivity

I ran across this quote by Alan Watts and absolutely love it: 'Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.'


I wish I could be one of those people who didn’t focus so much on what I accomplish. But sadly, my to-do list dictates how I spend my time and ultimately how I feel about each day. How wonderful would it be to live more in the moment? Being present seems like a much healthier and fulfilling approach to life, especially since there will always be more to do.


Here is what I’ve found helpful so far as I’m learning to be more present and in the moment:

  1. Meditating: Taking deep breaths and being more mindful have helped me slow down. Mediation and yoga are a perfect way to start the day, take a break, or wind down in the evening. And the more consistent I am, the easier it is.

  2. Simplifying my focus: Choosing just 3 things to do each day has freed up mental space and allowed me to spend time on the unexpected. Looking at my vision board also prevents me from adding more to my schedule and keeps me focused. It reminds me of the purpose behind what I’m doing and keeps things in perspective.

  3. Acknowledging and celebrating: Stopping to look at my progress (both daily and long-term) has encouraged me to reflect on how far I’ve come and to celebrate larger milestones. ‘Life is a journey, not a destination,’ and the journey is more enjoyable when you appreciate what you have accomplished, instead of always looking ahead at what’s next.

  4. Removing distractions: Putting my phone away and monitoring my tech usage has made me more aware of what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with. I’m realizing just how critical this is to enjoying where I’m at and being present.

Being 'in the moment' in our hectic, technology-driven, and busy lives isn’t easy. If you have any tips or recommendations on what has worked for you, please let us know below! I am looking forward to finding new ways to reframe how I think about and measure my days—in presence, not productivity.