Work smarter, not harder.

Work hard, play hard.

Sleep when you’re dead.

These are just some of the clichés we hear on a daily basis while trying to juggle all our life demands. We have this idea that strong people don’t quit and the busiest people are the most productive. This is not necessarily true. Successful people know when to rest. Just as an athlete will push hard during practice and competitions, they don’t push that hard on a daily basis, or their bodies would fail. If you want to increase productivity, you need to know how and when to rest. Try these three ways to be productive without burning out.

1. Increase sleep.

No one with lofty goals wants to hear they need more sleep. After all, what is accomplished when you sleep? Actually, a lot. Your body will rest, your mind will shut off, and everything you experienced that day can be processed. Not only will your body perform at a higher level the next day but your mind will be clear and ready to handle more information. Your decision making skills will be sharper after rest and your ability to reason will improve. 

2. Leave work at work.

On your drive home, try to think through the things that happened at work and let them go. If your drive is short or you work from home, designate time and space for work. You might need to go into your home office or corner to finish a project, but then leave it there. Don’t keep going back to it. This is not a healthy balance and you’ll probably end up sitting at a screen or revising emails over and over again because your brain needs a break. Long hours don’t necessarily mean more accomplishments but rather just time wasted.

3. Work in time spurts.

Athletes train in cycles, you can work in cycles. Have a laser-like focus for a portion of each hour or each day and then take a walk or go outside. Changing your scenery can wake your senses, which can increase creativity and ideas. Doing something physical even as simple as standing up and walking down a hallway can get the blood flowing and help your mind think clearly.

Burnout can happen quickly and you might convince yourself you’ll take a break later in the month or even during a summer vacation, but that could be too late. Too much stress can be detrimental to your health. Taking a break doesn’t mean you need to spend money on a lavish vacation, a simple Saturday of no work, no screens, and a good workout can be just what you need to improve your mental clarity and mood. Give yourself permission to rest when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. To learn more, contact WSi Healthcare Personnel today.