One of the fascinating parts of my brief radio interview with Bill Radke on KUOW (Seattle NPR) was his strong interest in whether mindfulness would help people "keep their edge."
This poorly titled article summarizing some research relevant to this in the Harvard Business Review is work reading Mindfulness Is Demotivating
In the study described the authors found that a brief mindfulness intervention left participations reporting being "less motivated" and more relaxed and yet they performed the task just fine - in some cases even better than the "motivated" non-meditators in the study.
So maybe we can be less "edgy" but equally productive. Does being productive and focussed have to mean tense and on edge? I'm a big advocate for the combination of being alert and relaxed.
I often mention in class that we're used to the combinations of alert and tense and the opposite which seems to be relaxed and spaced out. How about taking the best of both extremes: alert and relaxed and living that way?
We'll still get stuff done but perhaps at less of a stress cost and with more pleasure and, most importantly, we may retain the ability to switch off the relentless impulse towards constant productivity when it's not serving us.