Almost everyone tells you that we need to work harder to get ahead. That we need to plow our heads down and grind, use sweat equity. We hear of instances in some cultures where they work themselves to exhaustion, to their ultimate demise, never enjoying what life has to offer.
For those who have become successful, those who have crossed the barrier from working for a living to becoming financially independent, these the CEO’s, the entrepreneurs, the athletes, all share in common is drive, motivation.
These successful independent individuals appear to be moving forward and getting better at all times with less effort. They strive past the pain, the doubt, and at times their health issues. They’ll do whatever it takes to get it done.
Then they’re not satisfied once they reach their goal, maybe just for a moment, then they’ve already set their sights on their next task, their next quest.
They appear to work themselves hard to the bone, they’re always stressed out leading to the point of exhaustion. They sacrifice their personal leisure and family time, all this for the glory of achievement.
Reach For The Top
What we’re all conditioned to do is strive for this type of accomplishment, to innovate, then the wealth should come, right? But what research shows are the effects of working too hard, usually to burnout or illness.
What we’re not able to do is disconnect from work, at night, on the weekends, or even when on vacation. As a result, we develop bad habits such as eating and drinking too much, while lacking exercise and adequate sleep.
We realize the pitfalls of working too much, yet we continue to do so. The reason being that if we don’t, we’ll fall behind, and miss out on becoming successful.
There Are No Guarantees
Aside from this physical and mental beating that we take, doing so also doesn’t guarantee success. The reason being that if there’s too much focus that’s placed on one avenue, then you’ll leave yourself exposed to another.
Too much focus in one direction hurts the creative process, along with our ability to effectively solve problems. There are solutions however, to get more done by doing less. We need to stop working so much, which then results in more productivity and efficiency.
Doing More Of Nothing
What we’re accustomed to do is overwork, to overachieve, as god forbid we don’t want to be branded as lazy. The idea of doing less, relaxing, is laughable to most of us as it’s completely unproductive.
There are some who just enjoy their extreme working lifestyles, to continue working 60 hours a week. But if you’re yearning to spend more time on the things that you enjoy doing, while you’re still young and capable, then it’s recommended that you slow down. It’s found you can be just as productive, and definitely more healthier.
We get glimpses and insights of our creativity when we’re relaxed. This when we take long walks or are driving down the freeway, is when we can benefit from insight. This the times when we get those “aha” moments.
Learning To Relax
So this means that self mastery is the opposite of control. Relaxing effortlessness springs well-being. Brain imagery scans reveal that a calm relaxed mind leads towards enhanced memory, while facilitating better intellectual understanding.
Another test found that these moments of insight, such as a solution to a problem suddenly coming to you, it’s usually preceded by an increase of alpha waves, which is a sign that we’re relaxed.
It’s found that when we daydream, doing so leads to greater creativity along with better problem solving abilities. We’re at our most creative state when we’re sleepy, quaint, those periods when we just wake up or when falling asleep.
The reason being that our brainwaves have specific pathways which are dedicated towards internally directed attention, which helps us relax, slows down our thoughts while offering greater perspective about ourselves and others. We need this downtime for the brain to become calm, to restore itself and to reflect.
Some Me Time
One of the benefits of taking a timeout for ourselves, detaching ourselves from work, is gaining a positive mood, which has proven to lead towards better problem solving and greater insight. This the reason why there’s a movement towards meditation.
What we have is a habit of removing clutter from our desks, we delete our emails, empty out our trash cans, but we seem to forget to clear out our minds.
Meditation is recommended as it’s proven to lower one’s stress levels, enhances well-being, while improving the ability to multitask better. We know that we need to sleep to rest our body, but we need to rest our minds as well.
Be More Service Orientated
Another proven way of enhancing positivity is shifting your attention towards serving others. So do something nice without expecting a reward, receiving nothing back in return.
Go out and be kind. Volunteer your time, share and care, donate, listen better, extend a helping hand. Gratitude and giving proves that it enhances one’s mental as well as physical health, this at the cellular level.
Connecting to the heart has proven to improve our chances of professional success. So go out there and socialize, spread your wings, help others, and feel good while enhancing your own success and well being.
So Just Be
When it comes to actual productivity, this especially at the creative levels, doing less can often be doing more. Always do more of the things that you enjoy. Prioritize them on your to-do list.
Always find more time to relax, do things which are more leisurely in nature, waste your time on occasion, unplug yourself from work and lose focus by having more fun.