How to Balance Productivity and Wellbeing
People are always looking for ways to be more productive, but wellbeing is often overlooked. Interestingly, taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to stay effective at work, and you might be surprised by some of the benefits.
If you want to maximize your work output and want to stay healthy at the same time, this article will tell you how.
Constant Productivity Is Not Possible
We live in a time when overworking is viewed as a marker of success, and this is ingrained into culture. In most workplaces, you are expected to work hard and do this in a timely manner, but the simple fact is that being productive all the time isn’t possible.
As human beings, it is well known that we only have a limited capacity to concentrate at any given time. This is where the Pomodoro technique came from. The creator saw that having scheduled times to work and rest yielded maximum results in task completion.
Our bodies have an ultradian rhythm, which controls your energy levels throughout the day, and includes heart rate, brain-wave activity and alertness. After an hour of working, these start to decline, and your body craves rest. Just like we need to sleep, eat, hydrate, we are hard-wired this way.
So what happens if you decide to power through? Over the course of the day, you might see a reduced ability to concentrate, and you will start making simple mistakes. However, if you do this regularly, it can set you down the road to burnout, which causes exhaustion, a lack of enthusiasm, and leaves you unable to do your job.
Prioritizing Wellbeing for Future Productivity
As the saying goes: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and having this perspective can really help you when it comes to overworking. You will always have tasks to do, and they will get done, so taking your time and removing the pressure to cram everything in can help you in the long-run.
Dedicating time to prioritizing your wellbeing will bring you a number of benefits, one of which is enhanced productivity. You will notice improved memory and information retention, a greater capability to be creative and think outside the box, a calmer mind, and you might feel more job satisfaction.
You may believe that more work now equals greater outcomes, but the future effects of taking care of yourself now provide balanced output over time. This means that rather than routinely hitting brick walls and needing time off to recover, your performance will be more consistent, and this is where you get your payoff.
Productivity is important and necessary for job completion, but keeping yourself well is part of the package.
How You Can Start Prioritizing Wellbeing
Practicing good wellbeing just means taking simple steps to ensure you stay healthy. You can do this by making small changes to your day, and it doesn’t require much time at all.
First, you should draw a line between work and home. Doing overtime might be needed sometimes, but this shouldn’t be done often. Train your brain to switch off from the day’s events by doing an activity that signals it is time for you to relax. This could be something small like putting your computer out of sight, changing your clothes, or taking the dog for a walk.
We are creatures of habit, and having a good post-work routine can help to keep your thoughts in the present moment, rather than getting wrapped up in what you need to do tomorrow. The same goes for making sure you take your lunch break, which helps to split your day up and give you a rest.
If you struggle to wind-down, or want to get more moments of relaxation into your day, you can try using applications such as Headspace, which has a variety of guided meditations and relaxing audio clips for stress, sleep, and self-esteem. The clips can be as short as one minute, if time is an issue, and they provide a healthy interruption from any worries lingering in your mind.
When mindfulness meditation is done regularly, it can significantly lower stress levels and worry, and bring benefits such as better mental health, focus, and efficiency. It is an easy way to look after your mind, and builds a productive routine, simultaneously.
Alternatively, if meditation isn’t your thing, journaling is another way to add wellness into the mix, by allowing time to pause and reflect on your day. The issue with an overly productive mindset is having too much focus on what you need to do next; journaling halts that and forces you to look back and consider how you are feeling right now.
If you aren’t sure where to start with this, you can use Daylio, which is a digital journaling application that has a simple layout for you to write anything you’d like. It asks you about your mood, activities you’ve done today, and any goals you’d like to set. You can use it as many times as you like, but utilizing it during the periods that you are most prone to overthinking or overworking is suggested.
It’s All About Perspective
Balancing productivity with wellbeing can be difficult, especially if you want to perform well at work or are trying to make an impression. The problem with this, though, is that your motivations to do well are based on worries, and this just continues the cycle of never feeling like you’re doing enough.
If you only expect good things to happen when you’re working at capacity, you will likely wear yourself down quickly. Instead of imagining what could go wrong if you don’t do all of these tasks now, try visualizing a completed workload that is done at a reasonable time and pace.
Prioritizing your wellbeing can change the perspective that work is only a part of your day, and focusing on what your body needs can bring you to balance and a much healthier outlook on your job.
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October 12, 2021 at 09:21AM