When we think of qualities and attributes will get us to where we want to be in life, we normally think of things like motivation, ambition, determination, persistence, work ethic, and productivity. Working 6 or 7 days a week, getting up early, planning, and prioritizing are things that we typically think of when we think of success and productivity.
But what if all of this was only partly true, and that the best thing you can do to be productive in life is actually the complete opposite of all of those things? Relaxation is something that often gets equated with laziness, but in reality it is one of the most productive things you can do for yourself and your career.
Relaxation allows you to actually get more done by preventing burn out, be more creative by preserving mental energy, keep your mind focused on one thing at a time to improve quality of work, and it allows you to enhance your own energetic state (which is the best thing you could produce). Here are some more reasons why relaxing is the most productive thing you can do:
1) You can still get everything done while relaxing
For some reason, our minds convince us that we have to think about what we need to do all day in order to be productive. In reality, it’s much more productive to be completely relaxed when you are doing your tasks because then you have more mental and physical energy to apply to other tasks or other areas of your life.
When you rush around and don’t give yourself permission to relax during and after work, you run the risk of burning yourself out. Not only does stress increase your risk of heart attack, cancer, and all other chronic diseases, it also takes away from your relationships, life experience, and connectivity to your own self. As an experiment, try completing a “stressful” task from a state of pure relaxation with the understanding that stress is not necessary to complete that task. You will feel much better, and the quality of your work will be much higher.
2) There is always going to be something to do
When you really break it down and think about it…what’s the rush? There will always be somewhere else to go, something else to do and someone else to meet. Rushing to finish one task only gets you on to the next sooner. Why bother racing through one task just to get frustrated and rush through the next one?
If you were to write out your to-do list right now, there would probably be 20 things on the list. As soon as you get all of them done, you will have another 20 waiting for you by the time the list is complete. Even if you get all 20 done right now this next second, there would be a second to-do list just as long with a bunch of secondary tasks, lifestyle changes, appointments, projects, hobbies, people to catch up with, things you need to buy or fix up, etc. As long as there is room for improvement in some area of your life (which is always), there will always be something for you to do.
3) There is no such thing as experiences, only states of being
After all, experiences are only forms that ultimately translate into modifying our state of being. When we really look closely at like and what “experiences” really are, they are just an alteration to our internal state of being. And if we close our eyes and go inside and see what “productivity” or “creativity” really are and why they are good in and of themselves, it’s ultimately because they add value to us and our state of being.
If they subtract from our state of being by adding more stress than happiness, frustration than joy, and worry than relaxation, than it’s literally not productive because it’s not producing a positive result. Judge success based on how well it translates into your relationship with life, not how much it appeals to the societal standard of “success”.
So take a load off and give yourself permission to chill out. Stop stressing so much about school, work, finances, debts, and tasks. By allowing yourself to relax, be calm, and do everything at a pace that suits you, you will actually be enhancing your life and increasing your productivity.
Hope this helps!