How Less Can Be More for Productivity

Preparing yourself is key to getting more done

In this day and age, we’re obsessed with getting more done in less time. Multi-tasking is our norm. Technology enables us to accomplish things in minutes that decades ago would have taken weeks. We have a need for speed and productivity 24/7/365.

But this continuous ratcheting-up of doing more at a faster pace can easily lead to exhaustion and burnout. Furthermore, while we feel compelled to always be doing more, we may not actually be accomplishing more if we’re not fully focused on maximizing the quality of our work.

Being productive isn’t the same as being busy
Productivity is more about achieving goals efficiently and less about being busy constantly. To be at our peak capacity for doing our work well for longer periods of time, it pays to take a step back every once in a while and do things that purposely take you away from work.

Here are a few simple yet effective ways to pull your nose off the grindstone and recharge your batteries for better overall productivity in the long run:

  • Prioritize
    Instead of focusing on doing everything on your to-do list for the day, highlight the most important items and just complete those. Not everything is a must-do right-now. Really.
  • Sleep more
    Sleep deficit is a significant factor in most people’s lives—leading to continual fatigue and reduced ability to focus on tasks. And it has been proven to raise more serious health risks such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and more. You really do need those eight hours of sleep each night to be at your most productive. If you can’t fit in an extra hour or two of sleep each night, at the very least try to make it up on the weekend and the following week.
  • Make one day completely yours
    If you find yourself having to work over weekends, it’s better to tackle it on one day and reserve the other day solely for whatever you want to do. You’ll be less resentful about your work and obligations when you have one full day’s break from it. For more on how to get the most out of your rest day, check out these tips from Health Ambition.
  • Give time to others
    Helping people in need has a host of mental, spiritual, and even physical benefits for not only others but for you as well. Volunteering your time and/or skills to assist others enables you to give your life a reality check—and see that your problems most likely aren’t as daunting or stressful as you might believe.

These are just few ways to create the breathing space you need to maintain better productivity. You can find additional ways in this Hubspot article to up your productivity by taking brief but valuable diversions from your daily tasks.