Productivity is an interesting concept: the output of an industrial concern in relation to the material, the labour it employs, and the state of being productive. The first definition refers to business, while the latter refers to the worker or person working towards being productive. The tragedy of productivity is that it often masquerades as a positive thing. Before you know it, you’ve gone from wanting to be productive to never resting, always chasing the thrill of completing a task. What happens next is that you eventually find rest in the unavoidable, inevitable burnout that comes from chasing the illusion of high performance and extreme productivity. But burnout is a crash and burn, a forced rest, not the restorative rest that aids your productivity.
According to career expert Zippia, 89% of workers have experienced burnout within the past year. As of 2021, the rate stood at 52%, which is a 9% increase from 2019. Burnout is a reality for everyone. Students, professionals, CEOs, and business owners alike are all susceptible to burnout because, the truth is, no one is immune from experiencing it. The World Health Organization defines burnout as feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy. Hacking your productivity standards is a strategy that can restore your energy and stop burnout from developing or recurring, regardless of whether your burnout was brought on by work or life.
The theoretical physicist Albert Einstein once said, “strive not to be a success, but rather a value.” At Credico, we measure value in place of productivity. First, being a value to yourself and your obligations thereafter. Self-care and taking time to rest are forms of productivity. A BetterHumans article affirms this idea — “rest, it turns out, is critical to health, development, and, yes, to productivity.” That’s right! When we rest, we refuel our depleting energy tanks, refresh our creativity, and restore our ability to be the best versions of ourselves, thus adding value to everything we do for our jobs and our lives outside of work. When defining our productivity, we must continually examine our priorities. We must review our to-do list while taking into account all we can do and the amount of time we have available to do it, all without deprioritizing, taking breaks, or relaxing.
While resting seems counterproductive, it is vital to our success. Resisting the urge to rest isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. Here’s how (and why) to hack your productivity by resting:
For remote employees, movement is essential. Long periods of sitting may make you feel like you’re resting, but you need to get up and move around while you’re working at your desk. The risks of prolonged sitting are real and could lead to “sitting disease.” The British Heart Foundation estimates that the average sedentary time for working-age adults in England is 9.5 hours per day. You should get up and move about every hour for ten minutes to avoid sitting disease. This relaxes your eyes while also getting your blood flowing.
Take a Walk
Exercising has so many benefits – and did you know that walking counts as exercise? It does! A 2014 American Psychological Association research report, “Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking,” will have you walking all day just to see if its findings are true. According to the report, “Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”
What’s the best way to recharge your energy levels when you’re tired? Do something fun! Or, do nothing at all. Self-care can be anything that allows your body to feel at ease, comfortable, and joyous. According to the February 2023 Quality of life in the UK report, just 37% of adults feel they are doing worthwhile things in life. If that’s you, start finding worthwhile things to do to recharge your personal batteries and start feeling good about yourself and your life.
Don’t “should” yourself
This idea was first used by psychologist Clayton Barbeau. “Shoulding yourself” is to put pressure on yourself to act or behave in a way that you believe is expected of you. This phrase fuels productivity, which can lead to burnout. “I should have done more,” “I should this,” or “I should that” when if you could have, maybe you would have. To prevent yourself from this kind of regretful “should’ve, would’ve, could’ve,” make sure you’re being honest and fair with yourself to ensure that there is balance, boundaries, clear expectations, and no surprises. This makes room for rest, as well as helps you set realistic and achievable productivity goals.
Credico’s culture is lively. Our teams are made up of incredibly creative and talented individuals, so it is critical for the work that we do to be proactive and have balance. It takes well-rested and centered individuals working together to simplify sales and maximize growth for our clients the way that we do it.