Does it feel like an accomplishment when you’ve stacked your schedule so high there’s not a minute of free time— you’re being productive, right? Or when you’ve been multitasking all day and can cross ten things off your to-do list?
Our culture nowadays normalizes constant hustle and praises those who consistently go above and beyond their expected work capacity. Everyone wants to become a girlboss, but what if this mindset is really deteriorating your efficiency and your mental health?
While being busy is a highly coveted status symbol, it’s time to refocus our energy on a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Studies demonstrate that so-called multitasking leads to a drop in efficiency of up to 40%, shorter attention spans, and an increase in mistakes while working. Not only does it damage your work ethic, but it can result in higher levels of stress. In addition, putting maximum effort into your work with little reward leads to burnout. These harmful habits are deeply ingrained into most workplace cultures, but together we can redefine what productivity looks like.
Here are some ways to prioritize your mental health and maximize your productivity:
1. Set healthy boundaries
Setting boundaries on how much time you spend on work tasks will give you more structure for relaxation and can provide specific times for your brain to rest. Avoid responding to emails past 5:30 pm or bringing extra tasks with you on your lunch break. It is okay to disconnect!
2. Focus on one task at a time
Even though multitasking can feel like you’re getting a lot done, it decreases efficiency and contributes to work-related stress. Focus on a single task for 20 minutes at a time if this seems difficult at first.
3. Define what time off really means
When was the last time you took a real vacation? This means leaving work projects completely at home! By taking genuine time off to recenter and recharge ourselves, and encouraging our coworkers to do the same, we can come back to our career life feeling refreshed and ready to hit our goals.
4. Work to counteract busy culture in your workplace
Celebrate the healthy boundaries that others create for their own work-life balance. Resist the urge to compare busy schedules with the goal of ‘one-upping’ your coworkers, because busiest does not translate to best. Better yet, create a team like environment where you can all contribute to the end results.
5. Find activities that recharge your mind and body
Identify habits or hobbies that take your mind away from work, such as: exercising, painting, reading for enjoyment, indulging in CBD relaxation rituals , hanging out with friends and create time for these activities in your daily or weekly schedule. Setting time aside to do things that bring you a dose of bliss will feed your career ambitions.