Practice the Art of Tender Discipline

I don’t have to tell any of you that I LOVE personal productivity. I love the books. I love the podcasts. I love the blog posts. I love the hacks. Productivity is even in my company name and I list “productivity nerd” in my LinkedIn headline. It’s part of what makes me tick.

But I’ve learned over the last 18 months or so (i.e. during pandemic times) that productivity has a time and a place. It felt really weird for this high energy, type A guy, but sometimes the most productive thing to do was … nothing. That’s what my brain needed. Pushing harder wasn’t going to accomplish anything other than burnout.

Grace. Grace was a word that we all learned a lot about this past year. Knowing when to give yourself some grace and say “I can do that later. I need to focus on me right now.” became truly essential.

But I’m a productivity guy so this was really hard. Doing nothing truly felt like I was doing nothing, not giving myself grace.

I’ve come a long with with this in the past few months, but I needed a better term and better way of framing this. I’ve heard the term “tender discipline” and I really like it. We need to be disciplined in our work, systems and approach. However, we need to be tender about it recognize when we need to take a step back. Just pushing through is no longer the best option. It probably never was, but in these times, it can have far bigger consequences.

Take care of yourselves my fundraising friends. Show yourselves some tender discipline.