Behind the notion of productivity lies a promise. The promise that it is possible to reach our goals faster, accomplish more, be organized and in control. For many, being more productive means doing more. Complete more tasks. Chain the hours. This approach can work in the short term and produce results. However, in the long run, this is the sure recipe for exhaustion and burnout.
Because productivity is not a sprint but a marathon.
My top tips as an entrepreneur and founder of Maison Vivienne.
1. Don’t look for perfection
Seeking perfection poses two main problems.
The first is that it wastes our time. All those hours that we spend adjusting these details would be much better invested in dealing with other more important tasks.
Seeking perfection also means creating blockages. By setting the bar high, it is more difficult to get down to work, and often we tend to procrastinate. To be more productive, we must learn to release the pressure and forget about perfection because it’s when we are relaxed that we do our best work.
2. Break up your big projects into small tasks
We often procrastinate when the work to be done, and the effort to be provided are substantial. Big projects are intimidating when viewed as a whole. And since we think they are difficult to reach, we tend to put them off until tomorrow.
One effective way to avoid procrastinating is to break up our projects into smaller, digestible tasks.
3. Give yourself breaks
Being productive is not about working from morning until night without stopping.
As Illich’s Law states:
“After a while, productivity tends to decrease or even reach negative values.”
By taking regular breaks, we restore our motivation and creativity. We also increase our energy levels and avoid decision fatigue.
4. Do not prioritize work oversleep
As Arianna Huffington explains in “The sleep revolution,” a good night’s sleep has the power to increase productivity and happiness, lead smarter decision-making, and unlock greater ideas.