Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Jeffrey Davis: Reconciling Productivity and Wonder (Episode 236)

Jeffrey Davis: Reconciling Productivity and Wonder (Episode 236)

Jeffrey Davis, branding consultant, repeat guest, and author of the new book, Tracking Wonder, joins Charlie on the show to discuss how we can reconcile productivity and wonder. Our culture’s obsession with productivity has a bias against wonder and yet wonder is essential for our creativity, satisfaction, and belonging. They discuss how these seemingly opposing forces balance each other and allow us to thrive and flourish, not merely be more productive.

Key Takeaways:

[2:10] Jeffrey shares the journey of how he wrote his latest book, Tracking Wonder. It was a process of discovery and learning through extreme adversity and crisis.

[8:42] When we go on these journeys as thinkers and writers, there is often an intense pressure for it to be quick. Often, this is not the case and it can take months or years for ideas to come to fruition.

[12:18] Fifteen to 20 years ago, positive psychology was still in its infancy, and the only option then was to turn to philosophy to talk about thriving, wonder, happiness, belonging, etc. Now, there is science to back it up.

[15:49] The past 18 months, both culturally and socially, have raised a lot of questions about meaning and relationships.

[17:03] Charlie and Jeffrey discuss measuring productivity; it has always been difficult to measure and has become even more difficult recently. Why are we tracking only certain metrics for productivity and efficiency and not others?

[22:06] There is a lot of work to be done, and it does have an impact on the company’s bottom line. On the flip side, as leaders, we need to have the integrity to recognize that people need to go out and do something different than just being stuck to their screens all day.

[25:06] Charlie reflects on an interestingly productive time of his day — when he goes on his coffee walks in the morning.

[29:05] There are a lot of things that look like not working, that make the working actually happen.

[32:11] Getting off a structured routine can be a very bewildering experience of deinstitutionalization. When we get off the path fixed for us, we have to create boundaries, rhythms, and structures for ourselves.

[37:02] How can we navigate that sense of bewilderment and disorientation when our rhythms are disrupted? Bewilderment fatigue can be a challenge, and sometimes we may disengage or bypass as a way of escaping reality.

[40:41] Wonder has six facets. Jeffrey explains each one briefly. 1: Openness, 2: Curiosity, 3: Bewilderment, 4: Hope, 5: Connection, 6: Admiration.

[44:16] How can productivity and wonder coexist? They seem to be at odds with each other, yet a balance is necessary.

[48:10] We are more than our work. Charlie shares some ways to detach ourselves from our work in the language we use.

[49:57] You are what you pay attention to. What are you paying attention to, and what are you focusing on?

[53:31] How can we shape our time together better so that we develop more connection?

[56:04] Jeffery used the design of his book to invoke wonder and bewilderment.

[60:05] Jeffrey invites and challenges listeners to conduct an experiment at the beginning, middle, and end of your day to bring more openness, surprise, elevation, or connection.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Productive Flourishing

Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done, by Charlie Gilkey

Jeffrey Davis

Tracking Wonder: Reclaiming a Life of Meaning and Possibility in a World Obsessed with Productivity, by Jeffrey Davis

The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices as Muse for Authentic Writing, by Jeff Davis

Shiva Sutras

“Why You Need to Protect Your Sense of Wonder — Especially Now,” by David P. Fessell and Karen Reivich for Harvard Business Review

Bewilderment, by Richard Powers

Sounds True

Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing (formerly the Creative Giant Show) explores how to do the work that matters to become your best self in the world. Host Charlie Gilkey and occasional co-host Angela Wheeler take listeners on a deep dive into the lives of leaders, changemakers, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are thriving in life and business by doing work that matters. Listen in to see how they cultivate meaning, success, and happiness as well as their approach to productivity, business, health, and the challenges (yes, even the deep, dark ones) that show up in their lives.