Why slowing down may actually increase your productivity

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Slowing down may actually increase productivity.  Does this even make sense? It actually does and I’m going to tell you why.  

First of all, do you know that a new french law went into effect on January 1, 2017 that bans work emails after hours?  One reason for this new law is to prevent burnout by protecting private time.  Makes complete sense to me.  Family time, personal time, and off-work activity hours should remain just that — private time, with no interference of work.  

Secondly, do you know that stress is one of the top factors of long-term health problems?  In Japan they call it Karoshi which basically means death by overwork.  In order to slow down and, in the process, increase your productivity, you don’t want to overwork your mind, body, or soul.

Here are some suggestions on how to slow down yet increase your productivity:

  1. Make time for you in your daily routine:  Actually schedule time for you right into your calendar.  That way you will ensure that nothing gets in the way.  
  2. Take breaks.  Every hour or  two, get up from your desk and move around.  In addition, take five minutes and grab a cup of coffee.  Walk the dog.  These more frequent breaks in your workday are a positive addition.  Furthermore, review this article for more tips on taking breaks.
  3. Get sleep.  After all, experts say this is the best medicine.  You will find with a good night’s sleep that your brain functions better, and your work performance will increase.  The Department of Health and Human Services published a great article that talks about the harmful effects of sleep deficiency.  Sleep — it does a body good.
  4. Read a good book.  I love to read!  What’s more relaxing than kicking back and reading for a bit?   The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is filled with great insights.  Another great title,  Chicken Soup for the soul at work, doesn’t cease to deliver on their heartwarming stories.
  5. Pre-planning is key to increasing your productivity.  Identify your priorities and plan your day to avoid scheduling conflicts.  Here’s a helpful list written by Sujan Patel, Growth Marketer and Entrepreneur, that lists 21 apps available to help you increase your productivity.  
  6. Stay ahead of deadlines.  If you use proper multi-tasking techniques and pre-plan, staying ahead of deadlines eliminates stress and increases your productivity level. In addition, check out this blog about how to avoid task overload.  
  7. Learn to say “no”.  This is a difficult one for many people.  Consider reading a book entitled “The Nice Factor: The Art of Saying No” by Jo Ellen Gryzb.  Additionally, allocate 10 minutes in your schedule to watch a youtube video “The Art of Saying No” by Kenny Nguyen at TEDxLSU.  Both are really good.

Take time to enjoy your life

 The journey that you are on is a special one that belongs only to you.  Slow down to enjoy it and become more productive along the way.  Slowing down is part of the process to experiencing a gratified, lighthearted and balanced life.  “Do what you love, love what you do” says Ray Bradbury.  Great mantra to live by.  I am a firm believer in a good work/life balance.  You need to give yourself permission to rejuvenate.  As a result, you will be minimizing your stress and increasing productivity.

I’d love to hear the ways you relax during your workday.  Feel free to share them in the comments section.

 

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