Productivity And Alignment

There’s nothing inherently right or wrong about productivity. What’s important is to realize our relationship with it, how it’s affecting our life and if that is how we desire to engage with it.

Is our self-worth dependent on it? And is that causing suffering?

Are we unable to relax? And is that causing suffering?
Are we constantly draining our mental, physical and emotional energy thinking about what we need to do? And is that causing suffering?

The constant need to “do” is the ego’s favorite game. This is where it derives its identity. But the more aware we become of these patterns to derive internal identity and worth from external factors, we can become free and live in a more harmonious, intuitive way.

In this blog, we're going to take an honest look at what it means to be productive and explore new ways to look at it that might offer a lot more freedom, joy and growth.

When is it aligned productivity (life and energy enhancing) and when is it “toxic productivity” (causing suffering to us unnecessarily, life and energy draining)?

I woke up the other day feeling off.

I could feel that my mind was looking for something to do, something to achieve, something to create, it wanted to “make something happen”.

I didn’t feel called to do anything in particular but it also didn’t feel good to not know what to do.

I had enough awareness to recognize this productivity culture pattern and knew I needed to sit with the unsettling “need to do something productive” feeling.

I did the Releasing Meditation from But First, Alignment to release the activated energy making me feel an “itch” to play out old patterns of using productivity to feel whole and avoid uncomfortable emotions. 

The compulsive “need to do something” or “fill something within” completely melted away and I came home to the deep inner peace and knowing all is well within me.

Later that day, I went to a coffee shop and noticed my mind having thoughts about “needing to figure out something productive to do” again. But because I’d released the energy attached to this story, it no longer had a grip on me. I was able to notice the thought and let it pass through without worrying or reacting. 

I felt free to do what truly felt aligned with no need to make it “productive”. I enjoyed waiting in line. I enjoyed ordering my coffee. I enjoyed taking the first delicious sip. I was present and allowing each next moment to unfold, without any underlying feelings that “I should be doing something productive” sucking my joy. 

I flowed through the day with so much ease and joy. The inspiration flowed naturally from one thing to the next and I felt joy and satisfaction through it all, instead of withholding joy, satisfaction and feeling whole until I did more productive (according to my mind) things. 

This is the ideal relationship I desire to have with productivity. I want to feel free to act when it’s intuitively right and free to not when that’s intuitively right without worrying, second guessing or relying on anything outside of me to give me the feeling of wholeness. This is freedom and alignment for me. And the more I live from this place, the better I feel and the more wonderfully life unfolds for me.

What does your ideal relationship with productivity look like? What would feel really free and good for you?

What To Do When The Itch To Be Productive Arises (In A Draining Way)

  • Awareness

Notice when your mind is telling a story that you need to force yourself to do things that aren’t actually in alignment just so your mind can get a “hit” of worth from doing something it thinks makes it better.  

This is the biggest key to shifting your relationship with productivity. It’s recognizing when the mind wants to seek wholeness or worth externally and instead turning your awareness inward to transmute the feeling. From there, your actions can flow from the deeper, wiser aspect of you (your intuition).

Do what feels joyful and take action when there’s a natural spark or alignment. Until then, what if there’s nothing to do? 

What if you can let the actions come when they come? The only reason we struggle with this is because there’s a feeling in us that if we don’t control and force, life will fall apart. 

But the more we release these types of feelings, the more we can just do what feels joyful without resistance and with full trust it will lead us where we’re meant to be.

You can thrive in action and you can thrive in stillness. You can manifest wonderful things in action and you can manifest wonderful things in stillness. You can trust the FLOW by putting your alignment first and seeing what flows from there.

What if following your joy is the most productive thing you could do?

We’ve been misled to believe that the only way to create is to suffer, force and push.

But what if following your joy and allowing life to unfold creates just as good if not better outcomes?

What if you can be productive only up to the point of joy and when it starts to feel like forcing/pushing/shoulding, you could let go? And what if that leads to just as good if not better outcomes?

Don't you want to see for yourself?

The real outcome we’re all looking for is freedom, growth and joy. Looking for our worth, freedom and joy through productivity never lasts because it can’t be found externally. It’s within us; we just need to be willing to see through the “cloudy” emotions and stories of the mind to come home to this knowing and deep feeling of wholeness and peace within. 

It’s Okay To Do What Feels Joyful Just For The Sake Of Joy

I’ll leave you with a few reminders…

It's okay to not be productive.

It's okay to not feel inspired.

It's okay to not know what's next.

It’s okay to have fun without an agenda.

We can settle into right here, right now, nowhere else to be, nothing else to do. 

We can let this moment be enough.

From my own experience, I've found that when I obey my mind when it's telling me what I'm "supposed to" do, I feel drained and things just don't seem to flow very well. 

When I let myself be guided by joy for the sake of joy and let the actions come when they come from this place of inner alignment, I feel free, at peace and alive and what ends up unfolding is always far better than my mind could have ever predicted. 

No outcome is worth more than my alignment. 

And from my alignment, the most beautiful outcomes unfold.

But the REAL gift is no longer NEEDING the outcome for alignment. Then it can come as a gift, not an expense.

Suffering is not a prerequisite to a beautiful life. Forcing yourself to go against the flow is not a prerequisite to a beautiful life. Doing what you're "supposed to" is not a prerequisite for a beautiful life.

What might change if you let yourself be guided by joy?

If this resonates, you’ll probably love But First, Alignment. I created this course for this very reason - to support you in letting your life be guided by joy and trusting what unfolds when you do.


Listen to The Magnetically You Podcast:

Listen to this episode on Apple, Podcasts, Spotify, or by pressing play above.



Follow me on instagram @madison.arnholt

Free intuition meditation

Explore ways to work with me

Free 14 day Ritual Queen Trial (meditation app)

But First, Alignment


Pin it for later:

7 Days Of Alignment: Free Guide

7 simple daily practices to cultivate more alignment, inner peace and presence, starting today.


50% Complete

7 Days Of Alignment

Submit Your Name & Email Below To Download Instantly