Set clear goals.
Write down your to-do list.
Plan for tomorrow, today.
All of these can be effective productivity tips, and without the tip I want to talk about, they won’t work in the long run.
First, let’s revisit the hustle.
We’ve talked about the toxicity of hustle culture, so what does that mean for our productivity?
If we aren’t waking up and grinding, how can we be productive?
Dear readers (yes, I just binged watched Bridgerton) if you are a professional multi-tasker (I include myself in this bunch), take a deep breath and read this: multitasking is a mirage, a myth, a seductive temptress who lures us into believing that doing more than one thing at once makes us more productive because of course it does, right?
And not just because I say so, but because science does. Studies prove our brains are not built to do more than one thing at once. It’s ineffective and exhausting and what’s worse: it kills brain cells, lowers our IQ, and puts the kibosh on creativity.
We live in a culture where we feel like we have to do more to be productive, so we can be more.
So what I am about to tell you might explode your brain like the classic emoji.
What’s my number one tip for being more productive?
Schedule rest and play.
Rest and play is the key to being more productive. It sounds counterproductive (pun intended) but it is part of the work.
And not just schedule rest and play, but honor that commitment like it was your boss or a job interview or whatever you put the most weight on in your schedule. Honor it like you are on your own side.
And if being on your own side feels foreign, let’s get comfy, shall we?
Right about now you might be saying, “But I don’t have much control over my schedule. I have kids and a job and a household and obligations. There’s no room for rest and play!”
I hear you.
The truth is, we have more control than we think.
I invite you to do a little investigating into where your time is going, like you would if you were trying to figure out where you spend your money.
For a few days, track where your time goes. Every time you do something, write down what it is and how much time you spent doing it. Also make note of how the activity makes you feel after doing it. I bet you could find some time and activities to swap out for quality rest and play.
You wouldn’t go through an entire day without food or water, so why aren’t we refueling our brains?
Keep in mind; quality rest and play will look different for everyone. I like naps, meditation, and hula-hoop breaks. You might like a quick walk, reading a book, and going to bed an hour earlier.
There is no one size fits all. Think about what truly energizes you, and do more of that.
If you are leading a team, this is SO important.
Not only does our refueling serve as an example to our teams, but NOT doing it limits our leadership capabilities, therefor putting a ceiling on the performance of our teams (and ourselves).
Read that again.
When we are well rested and refueling our brains with play, we will be better equipped to create inspiring environments for ourselves and our teams, do quality work, and be happier doing it.
Now pass me my hula-hoop, I’ve got work to do!