We talk a lot on this blog about how to be more productive. In many ways, we often associate productivity with how much we can jam into a certain period of time. For many people, the more things they accomplish, the more productive they deem themselves to be.
While this is often true, it isn’t always the case. Productivity is hard to measure and sometimes we only think or count the tangible things – such as how many reports we finished, errands we ran, or emails we replied to. But at the same time, we have to think about the things are aren’t tangible. Being truly productive encompasses much more than just checking things off a to do list.
Are you spending your time efficiently?
Even though you might be getting a lot done, are you spending your time efficiently? Of course, we all know that there is limited amount of time in a day and the one mistake people often make it not spending their time on the right things. What will make the biggest impact? What are your priorities? People have a tendency to sweat the small stuff, when in the end, only the big picture counts. Even though you might be doing a lot in a short amount of time, you may be able to spend your time more wisely.
Stress is a factor, too.
The need to be productive can lead to stress. While a little stress can be a motivational force, too much of it is never a good thing. Stress can actually negatively impact our mental and physical health. If you feel like the need to get everything done by a certain time is taking over your life, you need to take a step back. Your overall happiness is important too. Don’t get carried away with the notion that you need to be as productive as possible.
Time “off” is not always wasted time.
There is sometimes a guilt associated with taking time off or taking a vacation. People feel like it gives the impression that they’re not working hard or not pulling their weight. Unfortunately, that is the sad reality of society these days. Taking time off is OK. Not only is it OK, but it’s necessary. In fact, you’ll be even more productive once you do it. Most don’t realize this but mental health plays a very significant part in how productive you are. A rested and relaxed mind can get a lot more done than a tired, overworked mind. And it can do it better.
So yes, there is such a thing as being too productive. The optimal levels of productivity are different for everyone. What may work for someone else may not work for you. Find your own balance.