By Elma B.
Recently, my life has been flipped upside down partially due to the fast moving pace of New York City or, rather, the fast moving pace of today's world. As a result, I picked-up a book, In Praise of Slowness, to awaken my worn-down spirit. The book spoke to me as I have been juggling way too many jobs being the COO of a start-up. There has come a point where I know that I have no other choice but to slow down or face burn-out. I want to share with you tips on how to be productive without wearing yourself out; word of caution, it's a skill I have yet to master myself...
How to Be Productive Without Wearing Yourself Out:
1. Focusing On One Task at a Time. Piling tasks onto your schedule will not do you (or anyone else you are working with) any good. You will become mediocre at all the things you are juggling without being excellent at any one of them. Do one thing at a time slowly but surely.
2. Meditating. Having a sound, relaxed and peaceful mind will help you in all aspects of your life, whether when making personal or business decisions. In fact, Johns Hopkins University research has shown that mindfulness meditation is perfect for treating anxiety, i.e., ridding yourself of unproductive worries.
3. Pursuing Your Pleasures. It's easy to get wrapped-up in your work and other administrative task you have to complete. However, slowing-down to relax and pursue activities (whether making a weekly trip to a spa or going to a salon for your manicure/pedicure) that bring you pleasure is a must. It is important to make "pursuing my pleasures time" a weekly habit rather than a monthly (or worse yet, a seasonal) habit.
4. Knowing Your Weaknesses. One the one hand, there are tasks that we smoothly and quickly complete; on the other hand, there are tasks that we must break out in a heavy sweat to finish. Pick the tasks which will make you shine, and steer clear of the ones that will take you along on a long, uncomfortable and a bumpy ride. For instance, if you are clumsy and an introvert, stay away from sales.
5. Delegating. Learn to let go and delegate tasks to others. By releasing control, you are not losing. One of my favorite entrepreneurs is Nasty Gal's Sophia Amoroso; she says that she hires her employees to trust them. This is precisely who you should work with, people you trust so you can delegate work to them with a sound mind.
The key to a productive life without stress is keeping balanced. Speaking from personal experience, spreading yourself thin will ultimately drive you off the cliff; you will be of use to one one, whether your family, loved ones or co-workers. Making time to relax, pursuing pure pleasures, meditating and working slowly and steadily towards your goals seems to be a very healthy approach to life. My recent articles focus on nurturing your inner core, i.e., mental well-being, because I do not think there is enough literature that emphasizes the importance of your psyche which ultimately determines everything you do in life. Until next time, stay mindful and happy. Xo.
(p.s. For the fashionistas, I am wearing skirt and sweater from H&M, booties by Michael Kors, sunglasses by Dolce & Gabbana and bag by Salvatore Ferragamo.)