The Fool's Way: Have Fun being Productive! (Seriously, No Sarcasm Intended)
At first glance, The Fool archetype perhaps isn't the best role model for productivity.
In fact, he is too much of a free spirit to be tied down to a conventional module to ensure productive work. You need to apply strict discipline and stick to some kind of regime in order to be successful in this productivity biz, no?
Consistency is definitely very important. You can't expect to create lasting changes without consistency. Having that said, though, if you're just following the rules and doing the same things over and over again and hoping to regulate your life through carefully managed patterns--if you're doing only that, isn't that a bit...well, boring?
NOT JUST A STATUS
The first thing you should know about becoming productive is that it is not a status you obtain.
It's not something where you accumulate your efforts until you reach this "productivity" threshold and then you are, henceforth, forevermore, productive.
You don't just suddenly "become" a productive person. Productivity is a process. It is a choice you make everyday. Your productivity is defined by the choices that you make consistently, and the choices you make will come to define your space of productivity. You can use that space however you want; you can decorate it however you want. Everybody is going to have a different way of utilizing that space and everybody is going to have a different set of aesthetics when it comes to renovating it. A room isn't done in a day! You can't flip a switch and expect the room to be completely furnished in a blink of an eye. It takes both interest and dedication to create the ideal productivity space that works for you.
And just like a real room in real life, it is always in flux. You move your desk around when you need to make space for this new cabinet that you've purchased. You put two nails into the wall when you need to hang up Picasso's abstract art. You are always working on this space so that it is a reflection of who you are and what you need at that very moment. Productivity is the same way. It is a constant process of choosing, creating, reevaluating, and revamping that reflects who you are as a person and what you currently need.
YOUR SPACE, YOUR CHOICE
How this space looks is a choice you make every day.
If you are constantly maintaining its cleanliness, then it will be consistently clean. If you are constantly turning a blind eye to the month-old sock that have taken residence underneath your desk, then you'll always be seeing and smelling that sock. One day you may choose to remove it, and then it will be gone once and for all. But once you take off your socks again and choose to ignore it once more, then you are back to smelling that old sock.
Speaking of choices, how do you know if you are making the right choices?
BE WILLING TO EXPERIMENT
Indeed, the second thing you can take away from The Fool's archetype when it comes to productivity is that you have to be willing to experiment and explore the outcomes of your choices.
The Fool is all about adventure, after all! If you are committed to making changes, then you must incorporate some new choices to your productivity plate to experiment new flavours. If you always eat a burger for lunch, then you will always be tasting a burger for lunch.
You may ask: why go on an adventure when you are comfortable with what you have already? What if you're perfectly fine with burgers, and it's like, your favourite food?
Of course, don't just switch for the sake of switching. If your favourite lunch item is actually a burger, by all means continue eating burgers for lunch. If something is working for you and helps set your productive pace, don't discard it just for the sake of wanting something new. But like I mentioned before, if you are looking for a different experience of productivity, then you have to be open to the possibility that trying something new may allow you to experience something better, or develop new insights and/or appreciation towards your current mode of productivity. Experimenting with new things is not necessarily abandoning the old--it's more about reaching out from your comfort zone and evaluating your options. You are essentially experimenting with the choices you can make and checking out to see if these new choices benefit your current lifestyle and to see if they can add to your routines.
WHAT IF YOU LEARN NOTHING?
But what if those experiments all fail and have nothing to stand for given the time and effort you've put in!? Now wouldn't be depressing!?
Perhaps, the most important message from The Fool is that while you are experimenting with the outcome of your choices, you shouldn't be overly concerned about the outcome.
The Fool is a fun guy. He's also a fun-loving guy. This archetype does things just because he wants to. He chooses to focus on the fun and the process of having fun instead of where he may ultimately end up. If you only take away one thing from The Fool, then take away his fun-loving spirit. Carry it with you. Fold it like a neat paper charm next to your heart. Remember that if you're constantly labouring to be productive, you are truly missing out on life. Even if you are constantly pumping out things that you would deem to be "products" (word counts, house chores, a work task, etc) and constantly "producing" large quantities of "goods", if you're not happy, then you are not having the quality life you deserve.
Quality over quantity, right? A productive life is more than just pumping out productive goods 24/7.
The Fool will tell you this. Try focusing on the fact that you are trying new things to spice up your routine and to invite new energies in your life. By being open and carefree, you are making space for the changes that you want to see. That's what positive changes are all about--you have to make room first for the things you want to attract into your life! How can you ask the Universe to deliver a new spiritual furniture if you haven't even cleared up the space for it?
And last but not least, you should also focus on the fact that you are doing this for yourself.
You are experimenting and trying out new things to bring positive changes into your life. Even if absolutely nothing productive is produced from your ventures to explore new ways to be productive (now that's a sentence-ful, isn't it?), you should be happy about the fact that you are doing something for your own benefit and your own growth. Recognizing your own desire and efforts to live a happier and more productive life should make you feel more productive. You're doing something. You're doing something to change up the energy and patterns that have governed and come to define your life.
This should be super exciting, right? I mean, just the fact that you are wanting something good for yourself. And you're doing something every day to cultivate a better lifestyle. A better you.
If you ask me, that's definitely a productive thing to do. If you're not doing stuff, creating stuff or producing stuff for yourself, what's the point? If you're just slaving to match the conventional definition (notice I said conventional) of productivity, what's the point? What's the point if you're not doing it for you?
DO IT FOR YOU
And isn't that the whole point of being "productive"? To have a point in what you're doing? To have the results mean something to you? To have them account for something?
You're doing this for you. You are actively unlocking new chapters and exploring unchartered areas in your life and your surroundings. An undeniable result of this is that your world is going to get bigger. It will inevitably get bigger, because you've started walking around and paying attention to what it has to offer--and what more it has to offer.
Now we're talkin'. With all that extra space, we can do some real work and real renovations. Time to paint the walls pumpkin orange like you've always wanted!
Oh, orange isn't your thing? Maybe just me, then.