Resilience and Productivity - ProdPod - Episode 116

ProdPod: Episode 116: Resilience and Productivity

A few episodes ago I covered several challenges that people face in their productive lives, including overcoming overwhelm, distractions, indecision, procrastination, and burnout. And, in this episode, I am detailing an important emotional skill that one hears in many contexts but is one consistent source of productive strength for those willing to build it: resilience.

Defining Resilience

Resilience, according the American Psychological Association, “is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences.”

I want to be clear here because it’s easy to muddle over the fine detail and difference of resilience over frequently-heard skills such as perseverance, grit, tenacity, determination, or ambition bandied about as resilience.

As an example, Dr. Angela Duckworth, whose work I highly respect, wrote a whole book entitled Grit. (It’s a good read!) And, I believe the book properly discerns grit as a dual-pronged construct of perseverance plus long-term goal orientation. Resilience is not grit. And, they are ofttimes interrelated, but not the same…just as other emotional skills are not the same as resilience.

Resilience can be self-measured loosely based on your own criteria of “emotional elasticity.” In simplest terms, when you are emotionally bent out of shape, how quickly and well can you return to your course? That’s how resilient you are.

Why Resilience Matters to Productivity

Resilience makes its way into many areas of personal productivity. There are a host of productivity inhibitors that come from internal and external sources. And, being human, most of these sources are emotional impediments to being productive. If you can weather the emotional storm that comes with someone yelling at you with or without cause, read an email or text message that throws you for an emotional loop, or realize a setback because of physical injury, and then return from that to keep on your path, that’s the power of resilience. The world can be challenging, and that’s most of the fun. And, being resilient is how we quash those challenges and summon progress.

In the next ProdPod episode, I will cover some strategies for getting more resilient.

ProductivityCastQuick announcement: I have launched my new podcast, ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity. It’s a longer podcast show format. If you have productivity questions, please head over to the podcast website and ask it; maybe we’ll answer your question on the show! Check it out in your favorite podcast directory, or by visiting Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy it!


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