“You can do anything, but not everything.” – David Allen
In our extraordinarily busy everyday lives, we are often bombarded by lists upon lists of tasks and responsibilities. The chores can seem daunting, but there is an even bigger fear of failing to complete even a single item on one of those lists.
David Allen, author and expert on productivity, reminds us that we as humans are capable of accomplishing incredible things, but not every single task known to mankind. Being productive is not just about checking as many items off of a to-do list in as little time possible, it also involves quality work in which we can take pride.
Here are a few ways you can make sure you’re being as productive as you possibly can without feeling like you’ve been stretched too thin:
1. Quality over quantity
Speeding through a lengthy list of items in a single morning will not always bring you satisfaction. Slow down a little, and make sure your work is thorough and completed at the highest standard possible.
2. Embrace challenges
Take on a task that will push your intellectual, physical, or creative boundaries. Not only will you stay engaged while you work, you’ll feel even more accomplished once you’ve completed it.
3. Reward your hard work – occasionally
Understand and respect the balance between work and leisure. Whether it’s treating yourself to a pedicure or an extra scoop of ice cream, make sure that your major achievements don’t go unrewarded. In that same respect, don’t overindulge – rewards should be saved for special occasions as positive reinforcement for going above and beyond what you thought you could do.
4. Know your limits
One of the most important elements of productivity is knowing how much you can handle, and therefore when to stop. Trying to overload your workload will only lead to stress, anxiety, and low quality work.
How do you stay productive in your busy life?