how to be more productive at work

Setting Boundaries Around Y​our Work Will Make For A Happier, Productive Life

Work hard, play hard, right?

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Do you know how the most productive people always seem to be preaching about never working from bed? Trust me, I have plenty of grievances with this supposedly vital tip to pursuing your happiest, healthiest, and most efficient lifestyle. I mean, I can't even begin to count how many times I've gotten so warm and cozy and sleepy and put my head down for what I like to call a "five-minute nap" which never, and I stress never, ever ends up just being that.

For those of us lucky enough to work or perform tasks as quotidian enough as assignments from the comfort of our homes as opposed to "that" of a cubicle or library, we're straddling the fence between totally blessed and cursed. At first glance, the convenience of completing most, if not all of our responsibilities without having to put on proper pants sounds like a dream, but it's actually more likely to result in our own psychological disarray.

First of all, the stress of our many responsibilities can so easily bleed into our perception of what should be a relaxing atmosphere. This is not to say this only holds true if we happen to not really enjoy the work that we're doing–the pressure we feel to meet deadlines and our best work, no matter the subject, tends to melt into permanent association with the place in which we experience it. And I know what you're thinking, for us students, this is harder than ever to prevent. After a long day of classes and possibility, a shift or whatever else the day holds, going anywhere else but home to complete the night's homework is probably the last thing we want to do. It doesn't necessarily matter where we may be tackling a to-do list and likely enduring at least some amount of stress along with it, as long as there is a boundary placed between time and location for productivity and repose.

One of my professors swears by implementing a personal "totem," meaning a designated object to serve as a form of tangible separation from his work and relaxation/family/personal time. For him, it's a set of work keys that never enter his house. I'll be honest, I don't know the full extent of this sort of demarcation, and I'm sure there have been a few exceptions once he's been home for the day, as in answering urgent work-related emails if the circumstances deem it necessary. But I admire this ability to condition oneself to access each appropriate part of themselves that would otherwise be spread ridiculously thin without structured time for advancing one's personal life.

Now that I abide by certain productive habits, it's still very hard to live by these rules in pursuit of self-care and just turn them off whenever the time permits. Because for my always on, on, on, type of a brain, I'm looking to maximize my efforts in a limited amount of time no matter what I'm doing. And this, this is draining (to say the least).

As what I'd consider a relatively productive person, I can preach this all day and never once take my own advice. But setting these boundaries with yourself is really the only way any of us can achieve the optimal balance between progressing in our personal, educational, and professional lives and just taking a much-needed breather more often than you'd normally allow one.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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