October is Mental Health Month and I am using it as an opportunity to reflect on what has challenged my mental health most lately.
The concept of peak productivity has consumed me more and more over the last few years. It makes me wonder where the feeling of needing to be fully engaged and focused comes from and why I feel the need to be able to produce my best work all the time. I am sure it is tied to being a working parent, the perpetual juggling act of accomplishing more in less time and the constant quest to find purpose in how I allocate my time. Being a perfectionist who is driven and ambitious no doubt adds to the internal pressure. If I feel this way, I am certain others do too. In my experience the majority never talk about it because inability to meet ours or others expectations, however unobtainable, can feel like a weakness or a failure.
The reality is that constantly feeling the need to be productive and never allowing yourself time to rest means you often miss the moment and could be heading towards burnout. Do you find yourself allocating unrealistic time frames to tasks, assigning an unmanageable amount of work to your day and always feel like you are trying to keep your head above water? If so it might be time to make some adjustments. Just 15 minutes (1% of your day) is enough to find a moment of mindfulness and work towards sustainable change when it comes to prioritising your wellbeing.
Avoiding the pitfalls of peak productivity requires a balanced and sustainable approach. Here are ten tips created in collaboration with our wellbeing partners that I have found particularly helpful and am working to implement in my own life.
- Review Your Goals
Ensure the goals you set for yourself are realistic and meaningful.
- Prioritise Tasks
The Delete, Delegate Do method is great for identifying things that don’t need to be done at all, things that you can outsource or pass on to others and things that you need and want to do. Approach this from a personal and professional perspective because the mental load is a combination of both.
- Update Your Calendar
Review your calendar and to-do list. Allocate lower priority tasks to a later date. Schedule time for rest, fun and mindful breaks. Prioritising them like you would other important tasks will make you more likely to follow through with them.
- Time Management
Techniques such as the Pomodoro Method can help maintain focus, prevent overworking and encourage you to take breaks.
- Create Moments of Mindfulness
Allocate 15 minutes (1% of your day) to engage in a mindfulness practice. Not sure where to begin, our Mindful Moments collection has a range of options including breathwork, journaling and origami to name a few.
- Listen to Your Body and Mind
Know when to walk away, take a break and reset. Lean into periods of rest and let go of the mental to do list. Remind yourself that rest and relaxation are not counterproductive; they are crucial components of a productive and fulfilling life.
- Set Boundaries
Establish clear boundaries and embrace the pursuit of work-life harmony. Find the sweet spot where passion meets purpose and personal life fuels professional growth.
- Learn to Say No
It’s important to recognise your limits and decline additional commitments when necessary. Saying no can protect your time and energy.
- Reflect and Adjust
Regularly review your productivity strategies and make adjustments as needed. What works will likely change over time.
- Seek Support
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, seek support from friends, family or a metal health professional. Sharing your feelings can provide valuable insights and help you manage stress.
I would love to hear your thoughts in terms of what works best for you. Comment below or get in touch email@example.com
Director | B.OKideas