Production & Pleasure for The Enneagram Type One

If you haven’t already – I encourage you to go back and read the introduction post where I talk about the importance of finding our rhythm with these two things and why I think productivity should exist as an entry point to more pleasure. 

In these individual pieces I want to tackle what can prevent our productivity and tips for allowing our time we create through more productivity to be pleasurable. 

What gets in the way of productivity for the enneagram type one? 

  1. Perfectionistic Procrastination 

    We all knew this was coming so I figure we should go ahead and get it out of the way first. Type ones are known for being detail oriented and holding themselves to very high standards. These two things combined can make it hard to know when it is time to move on from things. I often use the example of building a website you can tweak and tweak it all day long but eventually you are going to have to hit publish if you want sell your services. 

    To combat this I recommend setting internal deadlines for yourself. A clear and non-negotiable time when the project must be complete and deemed good enough to close.
  2. Undefined good enough. 

    It’s important for type ones to define ahead of time what a completed project looks like. This will help immensely with knowing when something is complete. It can be tricky to recognize if something is finished because for the type one mind there could also be something else to improve. Determining this ahead of time can give you very clear metrics and expectations to follow.

    If you are in a work environment and are able to coordinate this with your team leader even better. 
  3. Fear of being caught falling short. 

    The type one inner critic is LOUD. Because of this the idea of someone else seeing a flaw can feel unbearable. Like you’ve been caught off guard not being enough. To move through this two things need to happen: 
    1. Work on your relationship to your inner critic. Have a conversation with them. Name them. Don’t let their voice be the dominant voice in your mind.
    2. Build the muscle of ‘good enough.’ The more you let things go and prioritize progress over perfection the easier it will become.
  4. Over-functioning 

    The type one mind can find something to improve in any situation. It can be difficult when that’s the case to see an end point to all of the doing because it feels as though there is always more to be done. 

    To move through this, I encourage you to schedule in your time for pleasure and keep it like a meeting. 

    Additionally, the fair play method is incredibly helpful if you are sharing a household and/or use the same method with folks at work. In the fairplay method you define together what a completed task looks like meaning you will find a compromise between your way and theirs and then you can confidently delegate tasks knowing that you have agreed upon what complete looks like.
  5. Everything feels important and urgent. 

    This is where I really like the analogy that someone on instagram passed along the feeling of carrying a lot of balls and some of them are glass and others are plastic so they will bounce back.

    At the beginning of each day I encourage you to determine what your tasks are for that day and which of those tasks are none negotiable have to get done. Which ones are glass and then identify which are plastic and use that as your measure for what needs your attention most and when you can call it a day. 

    A great practice for this is the Eisenhower matrix – if you can imagine a square cut into four corners and the top rows are labeled urgent and not urgent and the rows going horizontal are labeled important and not important than you can write the tasks in box 1 that are both important and urgent ( aka your glass balls ), in the top right you have important but not urgent ( your plastic balls – they can get done tomorrow ), bottom left need to get done today but don’t need as much attention to detail or maybe someone else could do these and finally unimportant and not urgent are things that could be taken off of the list all together. 

What gets in the way of a type ones pleasure?  

So now that we have a sense of what would allow us the space and time to experience more pleasure let’s talk about the top roadblocks to type one allowing that pleasure to happen! 

  1. Fear of being bad. 

    Pleasure is something that type ones struggle with in general out of fear of being evil or corrupt. Many of us are taught growing up that pleasure is inherently bad or a slippery slope. 

    To combat this I encourage type ones to work with their inner child. What do they want to do. Pairing the innocence of childhood with your attempts to infuse in more pleasure can be a great way to combat the inner voice saying that it is bad or wrong. 
  2. Fear of being irresponsible. 

    Inner child work is all well and good until your inner critic says, “you’re neglecting your responsibilities. You can’t just play all day.” 

    Take time to explore the benefits to your life from taking intentional time for play/pleasure. Understand your why so you can have a legitimate response for you inner critic when they try to shut you down. 
  3. Moderation 

    Sometimes things that bring us pleasure feel like they’re over the top or we’ve gone too far. Type ones tend to pride themselves on being moderate and pleasure can feel like a challenge to that identity. But I would argue that moderation doesn’t exist without pleasure. You need something to moderate. 

    At the same time I think you need unmoderated time. I know a lot of ones get this on vacation I’ve even heard people describe themselves as having a different persona on vacation. I would encourage you to infuse vacation one energy into your life on a weekly basis. Schedule in a time for you to be free and playful and to intentionally tap into your seven space. 

August 4, 2022

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