Sometimes, fast-paced lifestyles don’t cut it. You’d think that reading, eating and working faster would catapult your productivity into a new level of efficiency, but the truth is that such an energy-depleting way of living can lead to burnout instead.
There’s only so much stress and pressure one person can handle. While power drinks and coffee might offer you that desperately needed push, sometimes to be productive you must slow down. Yes, I said slow down.
Before you dismiss my proposal as impossible, hear me out. It might sound ironic but it’s true; we’ve been trained to think that the faster we engage with tasks the better our results. But this is only partially true. If what we’re after is long-term, sustainable productivity then the key is to slow down a bit. With less stress burdening your shoulders you boost your clarity and efficiency, ultimately allowing yourself to be more productive.
Thanks, but no thanks
It’s important to turn down extra projects, overtime work, and anything else that puts extra strain on your already packed schedule. If people come to know you as the “yes, of course I will” person, then you will soon find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of tasks and responsibilities constantly deluging you, and you’ll find it increasingly harder to say “no.”
Saying “sorry, no” reminds people of your own humanity and limitations, and its nurtures others’ respect for you. Fewer responsibilities mean less workload, which then equals better productivity. Simple math here.
It’s all in the present moment
To manage to be productive even at a slowed-down pace requires that you practice mindfulness. Stop worrying over others’ future expectations and opinions of you. Rather, focus on what you need and should accomplish right now.
You can do this by focusing in the present moment. Forget the bigger picture and just be at peace with what you didn’t manage to do (your past) and what you should do (your future). This way you are mindful of what you’re capable of achieving right this moment.
This realization is what will boost your productivity, even if you are working in what it seems to be ridiculously slow-motion.
Sleep, what’s that?
It shouldn’t be optional, period. Sleep has been found to be more important than exercise and its essential role in your well-being is unquestionable. Sleep helps you better control your diet and food intake, while sleep deprivation makes you prone to mistakes and less resistant to fatty and sugary snacks.
With more sleep, you will achieve a consistent and enhanced brain functionality, increase your alertness, and overall perform better with less effort. No project, event or circumstance is more important than sleep.
Our society fosters fast-paced lifestyles; we’re expected to speed read, touch type at 150 wpm, and constantly multi-task so that we can fit everything we need to do into a tight 24 hour time frame. While this increased speed can improve our productivity in the short term, slowing down is important for both our well-being and work performance. Having overwhelming schedules is not obligatory. It’s an option, and a choice we make each day.
You can change this by being more mindful of your daily routines, focusing more on your health and well-being by resting, turning down more responsibilities, getting enough sleep, and just slowing down from time to time, to recuperate.