We all wish we could be more productive.
We all want to feel the satisfaction of achieving more in shorter amount of time.
But on the days when we do manage to be very productive, instead of feeling satisfaction, we end up feeling totally drained and not even able to enjoy the sense of increased productivity.
Why is that?
Well, because in our attempt to being more productive we neglect a very important aspect.
We forget the “how”.
The “how” of achieving increased productivity.
Relaxed productivity takes this into consideration.
So, what is relaxed productivity?
And how can we achieve it?
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What Is Relaxed Productivity?
You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens. – Mandy Hale
According to the New York Times, if you relax, you will be more productive. Relaxed Productivity is being productive while remaining relaxed. This concept seems very simple, but even in today’s world, a lot of people and companies still believe that to be productive requires more focus and longer hours. They completely neglect the fact that people actually become less productive when they try to maintain focus for a long period of times and work really long hours.
We tend to forget that a relaxed environment reduces stress and enhances satisfaction. The best way to get more work done is to spend more time relaxing. Even though this sounds paradoxical, research shows that relaxation strategies like daytime workouts, naps during the day, time away from the office, frequent vacations actually boost productivity and performance.
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How Exactly Do You Relax?
Relaxation means releasing all concern and tension and letting the natural order of life flow through one’s being. – Donald Curtis
For me, to relax, means to silence my mind.
Normally, especially when I’m in a stressed state, my mind goes crazy.
It franticly tries to justify things, look for solutions to real and imaginary problems, runs in all directions trying to foresee possible troubles coming my way.
By doing that, my creative flows are blocked.
To relax, is to manage to put your mind at ease and allow it to rest for a bit.
It follows naturally, that if my mind is calm, and temporarily somewhat silenced, I will be able to be more creative.
There are some forward thinking companies out there that have realized this truth.
They spend a lot of time and effort to create a fun, stress free environment for their employees.
They know that relaxed mind is the key to creativity and productivity.
Example of such companies are Google, Facebook but also on a smaller scale, the local high tech companies in my area are following the same model.
Their employees have the ability to enjoy gaming rooms, catering, exercising facilities on site.
If you work for an employer, you might want to do your research and present the findings to your boss in hopes that they will believe you and change their approach. Chances are, they will not.
If you are self-employed, you have a full control of adopting the new model.
All you have to do is to structure your day that it eliminates stress as much as possible.
Incorporate in your day periods of time dedicated to relaxing and having fun.
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How Can We Achieve Relaxed Productivity?
Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. – William S. Burroughs
#1. Put more fun in your day
Find a way to incorporate more fun in your day. Maybe first you need to remember what is fun to you. That is ok, start where you are. Once you re-discover what you like to do, what is fun to you, incorporate that in your daily routine. By doing fun activities, your mind will naturally relax and you will experience more relaxed productivity.
#2. Take breaks
The more stressed we are the more breaks we need. But that feels counter-intuitive to us. Instead, we tend to take fewer breaks in hopes of getting more done. But the result is always the opposite of what we were trying to achieve. We end up feeling drained and exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed.
Meditation is the quickest way to disconnect for the physical world and help your mind get calm and relaxed. Like anything new it takes time to learn how to do it properly but the effort invested in learning how to meditate, will pay off tenfold.
#4 Train yourself not to over-react
To achieve relaxed productivity you have to learn to react appropriately to all situation. Over-reacting is going in the opposite direction. It will only generate more stress and anxiety. Take the time to learn to catch yourself in the moments just before you react. This can be done with paying attention and being consistent in your efforts.
#5. Make things happen with as little effort as possible
Do not over complicate things. Whenever you have a task to accomplish, always opt to go with the most efficient way that will take as little effort as possible. That way you will preserve your energy and eliminate stress and anxiety from the process. Work smarter not harder.
#6. Spend time in the nature
Being in the nature, automatically clams your mind and makes your less stressed and anxious. Incorporate spending time in nature in your daily routine.
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Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. – Chinese Proverb
Relaxed productivity is being productive as a result of being able to relax and allow creative forces flow through you. Relaxed productivity happens when you shift your focus to achieving relaxed state and as a result you become effortlessly productive.
There are specific steps that you can take to achieve relaxed productivity but it all comes down to changing your mind, wrapping your head around this idea ,trying it, and letting it work for you.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. I urge you to give this idea a try. Focus on achieving states of relaxation and see the effects they will have on your productivity.
I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments, questions, or suggestions below.
Honestly we are more productive when we are relaxed. Our physiological and physical body coordinates together when we are relaxed. Like you rightly highlighted, training, taking breaks off work and making your work fun are things that can make you relax and increase your productivity. They are pointed to the fact that you love your job
Hi Parameter, thank you for your comment. Sometimes it’s not easy to wrap your head around that idea but if one is willing to give it a try, one will surely see the benefits right away.
I really enjoyed your article because it has stopped me from feeling guilty about my chunks of downtime during my working day. Working from home is blissful but I quickly found that I was stressing out about not doing enough, Wrong! I’m very productive as I have great focus and work efficiently but after about an hour or two I start to fidget and need to get up.
Most times I get a coffee and go back to work but recently I took your advice and have stopped for about an hour and played my guitar, read a novel, or walked the dog, I’ve even done some gardening and then gone back to work. Wow! what a difference. I settle quickly and do so much work again in the next hours. This is the pattern of my days and I no longer resent the out times. I just enjoy that time, relax and recharge.
Thanks for this interesting article, it’s changed my opinion and life.
Hi Lily, I totally understand, the guilt is a real thing that we have to find the courage to overcome. My suggestion is taking small steps. The way you did, regardless of your feelings you proceeded with introducing more relaxation in your work day and you were able to see the results. It took me a while to adjust as well. I understood the concept but to actually implement it and not feel guilty about it, took some time.