I just got back from an amazing kid-free vacation. My first ever since becoming a mom. I was WAAAYYYY overdue. I knew I would come back super rested and relaxed, but I didn’t realize how much more focused I would be. I was able to look at my time and really evaluate the way I spend it from a clearer perspective.
I have a very unhealthy relationship to productivity. I let it define me. When I get a lot accomplished I feel extremely proud and when I don’t, I am overtaken by shame. Personally, it’s been important for me to recognize that I am not what I do or how much I do. Here are 10 truths that really changed the way I think about my time and how I spend it.
Here are 5 truths that really changed the way I think about my time and how I spend it.
- Stop working all the time. Cramming work into every nook and cranny will only make you feel like you’re working constantly. Instead set aside block times when you will commit to working. There are lots of apps that can help you stay on task. But I love the Be Focused app. You can add things to your list and set a timer to accomplish them.
- Work expands to fill the space you give it. I can’t remember where I read this but it is entirely true. This is why working on a block schedule like I mentioned above can be super effective.
- Learn how to truly rest. Before my trip, I had forgotten how to click into that relaxation mode. It’s important to do this often. Think of your ability to relax like a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, you won’t be able to use it when you need it.
- Being present has everything to do with being productive. If you are constantly thinking about the task ahead you will never successfully complete the task you’re working on. Being present is hard for people who have long to do lists. Remember what Oprah said: “Stress is created when you want the moment to be something it isn’t.” Define your moments for what they are and let them be.
- Stop rushing. I know it sounds counterintuitive to productivity. But rushing increases your anxiety and amps up the tension in the room. Rushing is a terrible habit and it really doesn’t save you time because you have to go back and correct errors. If you do save seconds, they aren’t even worth it in the end because of all the stress created.