Everyone’s trying to be more productive these days and figure out how to squeeze more into the hours that they have, so why would you want alternatives to that? There are a few reasons. A hyper-focus on productivity can make you feel like you’re a hamster on a treadmill. It can even have diminishing returns, eventually slowing you down and burning you out. Below are a few alternatives to the all-encompassing quest for greater productivity, that might just result in getting more done and having a more satisfying life.
Take a Break
This is the first of several suggestions here that probably seem like they couldn’t be further away from the ideal of productivity. In fact, you may feel like the last thing you can do is take a break, and it may also be exactly what you need. While you may be aware of the importance of taking a 5 or 15-minute breather from time to time, you might also be horrified at the idea of taking off for a night, a weekend or even a week.
If you’re the kind of person who tends to let your vacation time pile up at work because you don’t have time to use it, you absolutely need to do this. The other common barrier for many busy people besides time is money. But a short break is so important to your well-being and your ability to continue working effectively that it’s worth making a sacrifice to pay for it. You could even take out a loan. A personal loan with a good repayment plan is usually a better option than using a credit card, which typically comes with a high interest rate.
Here’s a secret: you can’t do everything. There is no amount of willpower and no perfect system that will make it possible to create more hours in the day to get through an unreasonably long to-do list. You might insist that everything on your list is of the utmost importance, but that still won’t change the physical laws of time and space. Therefore, your only alternative may be to prioritize.
If you’ve been grinding away in a panic for a while, this suggestion might heighten your anxiety even more. Who has time for it? How dare someone suggest there might be things on your list you could just not do? But once you’ve taken that break, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to take a realistic look at your schedule and start purging items that aren’t necessary or fun.
Maybe everything on your list really does have to be done, but do you have to be the person who does it? Can you delegate more things at home among family members or roommates and more things at work to other team members? Can you throw money at any problems? This is the point where many people realize that a regular cleaning service can take the pressure off them. Grocery deliveries, a personal shopper, an office assistant, and more help with childcare are just a few other ways that you can lighten your load.