I think we all have an inbuilt desire to be productive. We have goals and we hope to reach them as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, if you’re not born into a super rich family or you don’t have all the luck in the world, then you’ll probably have to work for your goals.
If you’re anything like me, then as soon as you’ve found a new goal or dream and you’ve settled on it, then you’ll want to get working on it right away. You’ll be making a list of everything that needs to get done. You’ll be thinking of ways to make it all perfect. Sound familiar? It probably does and that’s because we have all been there.
I think the problem is that we all want to be seen as ‘being productive’. We want to be known as the one who ‘get’s stuff done’. There’s a problem with this mindset though; When do we rest and reset if we are always being productive?!
You don’t have to be productive all the time. Here’s why…
Too much Productivity can be counter-productive
This sounds so silly. How can being ‘too productive’ make you not productive at all? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Too much productivity will lead to burnout, stress and a hatred for what you’re doing.
No matter how much you love what you’re doing, if you did it 24/7, you’d start to hate it very quickly. As an example, think of your favourite food. No imagine that you had to eat that one food constantly. You didn’t get a break from eating it and you couldn’t change the food. You’d be fed up of eating it, right?
By pushing yourself way to hard, your work won’t be fun anymore. It will feel way more like a huge to-do list instead which might even make you quit all together.
Rest is important too
It makes sense that you’ll want to be as productive as possible. However, sometimes you just need a break. If you’re always hustling and working hard then you’ll start to get worn out. Just taking a little break will help your relax, unwind and it might even help you do more work.
You probably wouldn’t think that taking a break would help you reach your goal but it really will. During your relaxation time, you might spontaneously think of another idea or angle you can work from. You could find a whole new perspective that will help your journey.
There’s other things in life that need your attention
I know that it’s easy to fall into a trap of work, work work but that’s not what life is about. There are so many other important parts of your life that need some focus. You might have family and friends that want to spend time with you. You might want to focus on your health and visit the gym. You might want to catch up on your favourite television show.
Even if something doesn’t seem as important as your goal, doesn’t mean that it’s not important too. It’s important to spend time with others. Make the effort to go and visit a friend. It might mean a few hours (or a day) away from working on your goal but it will help you a lot more than you realise. It might even help them too.
Focus On The Process, Not The Outcomes.
Weirdly enough, we think that we will gain ‘success’ from reaching our goal but that isn’t completely correct. The process of reaching the goal is where all the value comes from. It’s where we learn new skills and abilities. The process is way more beneficial to us then the outcome.
So to answer the question… no, we don’t need to be productive all the time. Work diligently, with devotion and come back the next day.
I would love to know your opinion on this though. Does being ‘too productive’ make you more counter-productive? Do you think we should focus on other things rather than productivity? Let me know what you think!