If an occasional event or comment takes you completely off your game for hours, days or weeks, then you might want to consider forgiveness as a productivity strategy.

Last week a harsh comment from a trusted colleague tanked my productivity. I spent hours replaying what was said, and building my case for a grudge. My anger was fueling resentment, and diverting me from the pursuit of my goals and dreams. I was also being given a business development opportunity. Forgiveness. Harvard Business Review agrees.

Imagine burning hundred-dollar bills. That’s what you do when you hold a grudge. Anger and blame are mentally taxing emotions that tie up energy in destroying rather than creating. They keep you recycling the past, rather than creating your future.

Time is one thing you can’t recover, but forgiveness is a way to rescue it.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean accepting or excusing someone else’s behavior. Forgiveness means acknowledging that no one is perfect, and viewing the situation through a more compassionate lens. Find more forgiveness inspiration at Templeton.

Possibly you’ve reserved forgiveness for family, friends, and former bosses. Forgiveness in the same sentence as productivity may have you thinking…

• Who has time for forgiveness? I just need to get out here and get business…

• There’s nothing to forgive. I’ve moved on…

• I’ve got it figured out, so why open that old wound…

Do thoughts of a person that slighted you keep popping up days, months or years later? If the answer is yes, your productivity may be suffering.

Tempted to ruminate over real or imaginary slights? Instead, prepare yourself to convert this mental emotional energy into a productivity strategy.

Here are FIVE things you can start doing today.

1. Honor the feelings. Anger, bitterness and resentment may not be the emotions for which you are most proud. However they are real, and deserve to be honored. Trying to suppress them ensures they will ooze out at another, probably inconvenient time.

2. Set a maximum time to indulge the feeling. You might want to choose 24 hours. If it takes longer that’s ok. Just remember, the longer you spend with the hurt, past the point of acknowledgement, the longer you delay getting your momentum back.

3. Bless and release the person or event. Wish the best for them. Wish that they have the success and happiness you want for yourself. Turn them loose to pursue their good. Turn yourself loose to pursue your good.

4. For-Give. See the gift for you in the challenge. A chance to forgive is a chance to grow and raise the bar on your own awareness. The sooner you can see the gift for yourself, the sooner you regain your clarity. A challenge will always hold a gift for you if you’re willing to look.

5. Repeat 1-4 above.

Forgiveness isn’t a thing you give to another. It is a gift you give yourself! When something takes you off course, the empowering gift is one that gets you back in the game as soon as possible.

Indulging in a grudge may indicate you are failing to place high value on your own time; your worth. You could be giving away your power and putting a real dent in your productivity.

Using forgiveness to redirect your mental emotional energy may not be easy. At first it may feel unnatural. It takes practice, which is why step FIVE is so important. With repetition, forgiveness gets easier, and the lost productivity gets shorter.

With this new perspective, forgiveness may be worth the effort.

Where you have been squandering mental emotional energy?  Please share what role forgiveness will have in your personal or professional productivity strategy this week?

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