Do less to be more productive
It’s Monday and, boy, did I have a hard time getting started this morning, mostly because my normal sleep schedule got “messed up” by sleeping in over the holiday weekend.
It’s a good thing that I plan for a slow Monday morning in my schedule.
This means I don’t schedule meetings or coaching sessions. Just time for me to do my morning mindset work, my weekly calendar planning and write a blog post (this one!).
Then I have lunch. And maybe even a nap.
It’s actually hard to admit that I (try to) take naps. A sneaky wave of guilt floods my chest as my brain throws me thoughts like “people will judge you for taking naps.”
Why would my brain think something like that??
Because our culture reveres productivity and chastises inactivity.
You have to “work hard” if you’re going to get anywhere, right? And if you don’t (or can’t) work, you’re lazy and unworthy of help?
That sounds hard. And oppressive.
I’d like to offer an alternative perspective.
One based on the Ayurvedic concept of balance.
The yang and the yin. The masculine AND the feminine. Action and rest. Producing & receiving.
Rest is just as vital to your productivity as action.
There are 2 reasons behind this.
1. What many of us call “being productive” is actually just busyness.
It’s a whirlwind of emails, texts, instant messages, phone calls, meetings, multiple projects and a thousand other things that get thrown in the mix.
While we are indeed in constant action, we’re actually not very effective because we lack focus.
And we lack focus because we don’t take time to step away, calm down and ask ourselves “what is truly important?”.
Is it responding to that text you just got or is it doing research for the big project that will set you up for a career advancement?
When you’re in constant thoughtless action, you can get caught up in being reactive, i.e. always responding to the fires of the moment. This is inherently unproductive.
Truly great things are done via focused, intentional work.
And you must stop, rest and reflect in order to identify what actions are truly valuable and which ones can wait.
2. You are most productive when you are most energized
If you never stop to rest to replenish your energy, you slowly wear yourself down until you get sick, anxious or burned out.
And then you’re really unproductive.
If you’re constantly stressed, overwhelmed, in pain or exhausted then this applies to you.
And it is OPTIONAL. You do not have to keep doing this to yourself. Please stop!
You get out of this pattern by prioritizing rest.
- Schedule rest time in to your calendar. Make it non-negotiable.
- After you do something hard, do something nice for yourself. Celebrate!
- Have fun often.
- Go to bed earlier. Sleep as much as you can.
If you’ve been out of balance awhile, it’s gonna take a lot of rest to get back to your peak energy stores but it is entirely possible – even without caffeine 🙂 I’ll share more about how to do in a future email.
Seriously, when you make restoring your energy a priority, not only do you improve your productivity but you also improve your quality of life. Pretty awesome, right?
My question for you today is: what is one thing you can schedule this week to replenish your energy?
You got this!