The mindfulness and wellness industry is growing fast with over $1 billion in revenues in 2015 (according to IBISWorld), over 1,000 mindfulness apps in the app store and over $50 million in revenues for just on popular app called Headspace, valued at $250 million at the start of 2017.
Running on the same track, in what feels like a competition, is the race for increased productivity and efficiency. There's a new article floating around every month on the 20 top productivity apps. Altassian, an Australian software company, acquired Trello for $425 million earlier this year. Trello, focused on teamwork and productivity, launched as a stand alone company in 2014 and currently has around 19 million users.
The Tug of War: Productivity vs Presence
While some apps are reminding you to take 10 minutes to quiet your mind, other apps are simultaneously reminding you of deadlines, tasks and goals.
Why is being present now treated as another thing to check off a list of notifications? Doesn't this undermine the exercise of engaging the presence muscle?
In an over obsessed culture of productivity and optimization, the art of being truly present to the mystery of the blank moment is totally lost. In fact in some cases, it's frowned upon to have a blank moment, as though a moment left blank is somehow a threat to an individual's worthiness.
The Fear Trap
The common overwhelming fear is that if you are too present, you might lose out on being productive and that you won't have enough momentum to achieve all your day's goals. This is simply a fear and so long as you carry this fear, you won't achieve at the levels you desire nor have the presence you long for.
The simple desire to be busy will drive your attention away from quality work and possibly decrease the depth of your creativity. Don't get caught in this trap. Being productive and busy is not where value lives and you should not live there either.
The Key Ingredient
Presence can actually lead to increased productivity. When you're working and engaged, you will make better decisions, produce better quality work and engage with people more meaningfully when you're present.
You do not need to plan or create a checklist of what your strategy will be for presence or productivity. Simply being present in this moment and then the next, continuously saying no to distractions within yourself or in your environment, will allow you to bring yourself, your intellect and your unique creative gifts to each new moment.
You will be able to create remarkably by simply being present.
The key ingredient that brings presence and productivity together and out of war, is trust. A deep sense of trust that the next blank moment will be an opportunity to for you to create. A sense of trust that you will be able to create something meaningful in that blank moment and a trust that you will naturally evolve and produce from your unique gifts in each future moment. In order to do this you must be willing to receive the blank moment first, not to fill it with a desire to be busy and check off app notifications.