When all is said and done, most people want to be productive, and to feel as though they are achieving their potential in life, whether with regards to work, personal hobbies, or social and interpersonal relationships.
There are all sorts of different guides out there detailing “miracle hacks” designed to give you that one percent edge in life – whether that involves intermittent fasting, establishing a working routine that incorporates the Pomodoro method, or any number of other things.
While all sorts of specific tips and tricks can, of course, be useful and effective, there are also certain “big picture” things that often get neglected.
Here are a few things you shouldn’t underestimate if you want to be productive.
The power of simplicity, and the detrimental effects of too much complexity and confusion
Many ambitious people such as entrepreneurs fall into the trap of surrounding themselves with excess complexity and confusion, and getting totally mired in it to the extent that their stress levels rise, and their professional productivity plummets.
But this is by no means limited to people who have just created a new start-up. Anyone who is interested in making a positive change in their life in general has to guard against the temptation to try to do too much at once, and to end up surrounded by dozens of different tasks and obligations that they can’t manage to keep track of.
Simplicity is a very powerful thing. The more you can simplify your personal and professional lives, the clearer the path ahead will be at any given time, the less distracted you will be, the less stressed will be, and the more effectively will be able to direct your energies for maximum impact in a given domain.
Simplicity is powerful. Excessive complexity often leads to inertia.
The importance of an ergonomic and well organised working space
For many people who begin working from home for one reason or another, there is a strong temptation to neglect the importance of things like an ergonomic and well organised working space.
All too often people delude themselves into thinking that they will be able to maintain peak productivity and feel great about doing it, by using their sofa as their chair, desk, workstation, and overall professional control centre.
As bad posture takes its toll, however, lethargy, frustration, and aches and pains will likely end up seriously diminishing your sense of well-being, while also negatively impacting your productivity.
Find an ergonomic mesh office chair, or similar ergonomic home office equipment, instead. The impact can be enormous.
The positive impact of sleep, entertainment, and downtime on your energy levels
As the saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
In fact, though, not only does this make Jack a dull boy, but there’s a good chance it also makes him significantly less productive as well.
The writer Celeste Headlee comments in her book, “Do Nothing,” that research actually indicates that people who take their full annual vacation allowance, in addition to taking weekends off, are more productive than those who work around the clock, when these things are evaluated.
Getting enough restful sleep in particular is a major bonus. But entertainment and downtime are also necessary for maintaining energy and enthusiasm.