Aspiring to Peaceful Productivity

Meggin McIntosh
3 min readNov 19, 2022
iStock by Getty Images: yacobchuk

Peaceful productivity has been a guiding intention for me for at least 25 years. The phrase “peaceful productivity” came to me somewhere along the line as an associate professor. I knew I loved to work and loved working very hard and very intensely, but….

I was sick and tired (exhausted, really) of pushing, pushing, pushing and always feeling under the gun and like I was behind in everything or was always letting someone down. I wasn’t sure if there was anything different that was even possible.

However, one day I was walking at a reasonable pace across campus — the rare time I had actually left my office in enough time to get to the other building where a meeting was being held — and I could appreciate the beauty of our campus and be able to look up enough to say hi to some other people I knew instead of racing past them. After one of these encounters and realizations, I thought, “This. I want more of these. Productivity, but peaceful productivity.”

Heaven knows it wasn’t instantaneous! But I didn’t give up and neither should you if this is also what you’re going for. Peaceful productivity is an aspiration rather than a goal. It’s something to work toward. Small decisions get you closer and closer to what you want. And even though there are days, months, or semesters that are less than peacefully productive, gradually you realize there are more moments, minutes, and weeks that are.

Your progress has to be intentional. That includes noticing when you have done something that gives you a glimpse of peaceful productivity. For example, just this week, one of my clients wrote in her prep form:

I pared down my list so much that I got done everything I wanted to! Including making time for exercise, my family, and cooking. Three cheers for temporarily realistic expectations. (Maybe I should make this a permanent thing??)

You might imagine which sentence I highlighted for us to talk about. :)

So that you have a few ideas to help you get going if you aspire to peaceful productivity, too, here are ten to choose from:

  1. Define what peaceful productivity is for you.
  2. Set peaceful productivity as an intention.
  3. Clear out excess tasks from your life.
  4. Clear out excess responsibilities from your life.
  5. Clear out excess people from your life.
  6. Clear out excess chores from your life.
  7. Clear out excess “stuff” from your life and space.
  8. Create an environment that supports peaceful productivity.
  9. Realize that peaceful productivity is an aspiration not a goal (i.e., you never GET there such that you can check it off your list).
  10. Stay aware that although peaceful productivity is not a constant state, it becomes more frequent as you make the changes that support it.

It is worth the effort, thought, and communication it takes to make the changes. I promise.

If you like sets of ten tips to choose from for more productivity (peaceful productivity, that is!) you’ll want to see if one of the Top Ten Productivity Tips series (all free) would be helpful to you going forward. There are at least 2500 free tips there for you to access.



Meggin McIntosh

Meggin McIntosh, “The PhD of Productivity®”, invests time & energy with people who seek ways to be overjoyed instead of overwhelmed.