The biggest mistake of 2020 wasn’t not saving enough; or taking this job or that job. Not quitting sooner, or sticking it out longer; it was not knowing how to keep my levels of productivity sustainable without burning out. Produtivity is useless if you’re constantly burning yourself out, and that’s exactly what I was doing. If I was wasn’t phyically exhausted, I was mentally drained, and if I wasn’t drained, my emotions were lose to snapping or I was drowning in depression.
I felt above those around me, because I was being a masochist with some fetishized hustle lifestyle, while rowing my boat in circles with no clue where I was going. Merely mumbling that I’ll get residency and see Antarctica yet, but with no real idea on how after going broke trying to make it in the Insurance world.
I was all about winning the day. And you should be. But my mistake was thinking that winning the day had to be a grocery list of productivity. A hyper intensive all work and no play. A list that makes a 10 hour day feel short and gives no room for breaks.
As Always I Need To Clarify
Doing uncomfortable things that you have full control over is how you will get ahead. It’s how you’ll build discipline, and that’s what separates the successful from the average.
HOWEVER. At the end of the day, life is a lifestyle. And if you hate your life, then what’s the point?
Winning the day involves more than just working your bag off. It also involves living as your true self. Taking steps to become the version of you that you want to become. Hiking, knitting, reading, I don’t know your hobbies, but they 100% need to be included in your weekly routine or monthly recharges.
There are crunch times, and success requires sacrifice. Success also requires maintenance; refueling, and staying focused. When exhaustion creeps in, and the flames of motivation die down, it is easy to go off course without realizing it. It happened to me in Christchurch; I’m speaking from experience here.
I Didn’t Do A Conventional 5 W’s Today Or Monday
My 5 W’s today and Monday weren’t my typical: Write a blog post, Write x amount of words, Edit X photos, Work/Apply/Upskill, Read x chapters… Etc
Instead, I went to the beach, had deep conversations with good friends. Did things to ENJOY my day in ways that exceeded talking shit and drinking. While doing this every day would become unproductive, doing it once in a while does wonders for productivity without burning out.
Grinding is good, but tools get dull. Grinding with sharpened tools is better. It reminds you why you’re doing X,Y,Z. Helps you realize the progress you’ve already made; to stay focused. It also breaks down the amount of work, so you don’t become too tired.
Ways To Get Productivity Without Burning Out
1: Remind yourself conversations with friends and loved ones are productive. You remember and forge who you are. Stay focused, but also pull yourself out of your head. Isolating oneself for too long can be dangerous and defeating.
2: Hobbies: They build discipline, as they’re something you want to do. Put aside a little time every day and do it. Discipline leads to discipline and making a point to do your hobbies for a set amount of time each day will build the habit of time management. Plus it’ll recharge you as you’re injecting tiny bits of joy into your day.
3: Don’t stack the days too big: I was really bad for this in Dunedin and the first few weeks after a lockdown in Christchurch. You need to be realistic with your energy, wants to recreate, and the time demands of each task. There’s ambition, then there’s poor planning. It’s not to say you can’t have consistent big days down the line, but like everything else, work ethic and discipline are muscles and must be built up before flexing. Pick small tasks, and when work is getting heavy, don’t be afraid to tick coffee with a friend as a productive thing. If maintaining a car is produced, so is maintaining the mind and body.
4:Take breaks; not hiatuses: This is one I need to work on. As you guys know, I struggle to remain in places of high productivity without burning out. I go hard, forget to breathe, and then throw everything away for months at a time. I need to learn how to take shorter breaks, instead of fantastic burnouts.
And there you have it. My analysis on tips one could take to get better productivity without burning out.
Please check out Tuesday’s blog where I detail the goals for the year. It’ll help me heaps if you guys keep me accountable.
And Yesterday’s, where I begin the reflections on productive balance for play and work