I visit a lot of blogs that preach about productivity. Sites like Michael Hyatt, Matt McWilliams, Pick the Brain, The Change Blog, Smart Insights, Copyblogger, and Social Media Today all include posts about getting more done, being more productive. But can we go too far in our efforts to get more done? Are there times when it’s best to just walk away from a project in order to achieve balance in our lives?
Don’t get me wrong. I love all of these sites. I love the positive messages about how we can accomplish more. I love the motivational posts. I love the advice about social media tools and new applications that can help us produce more content.
But sometimes it feels like the more applications we add, the less time we have? And sometimes, it seems like the harder we try to fit everything we hope to accomplish into our schedule, the more likely we are to leave out the most important things in life. And sometimes productivity can become like an addiction. The more we push, the more we want to push harder. Before you know it, you’ve been suckered into working like a slave for an uncertain future goal. Have you ever felt this way? If so, here are a few things you can do to sidestep the seductive power of being over-productive.
1. Limit your time on social media: Part of building a platform includes using social media to build relationships. However, too much time on social media is a time-sucker. Although you might feel that social media is part of your recipe for success, it’s best to get on, schedule and post your links, make a few quick comments, and get off.
2. Limit your blog posts and comments: I’ve reduced my number of blog posts from daily to three or four times per week. This gives me more time to work on some of my more creative projects. I’m still working on reducing comments on other blogs. Although commenting on a variety of blogs can help drive traffic to your site, if it takes more than 30 minutes of your time each day, that’s probably time that could be better spent with your family or working in the yard.
3. Diet & Exercise: With an emphasis on producing content, sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. We won’t be much good for others if we’re running ourselves ragged. It’s okay to turn off the computer and spend an hour or two a day exercising and cooking and eating healthy. Your projects won’t disappear, and the time away from them will generate more energy and ideas.
4. Weekends and Vacations: When the weekends roll around, I change my rhythm. Every other weekend I make a point to leave my blogging and writing alone, spend time with family and friends and have fun. I also make sure to take a couple of vacations each year. Last summer, I blogged about my vacation. This allowed me to keep the blog active and keep a journal of the good times I was having with my daughter.
Sometimes I start feeling like I’m trying to get too much done. That’s when I check my own to-do list. I prioritize and prolong a few deadlines. I remind myself that I need to make time for God, family, and my own health.
Questions: What about you? Do you find yourself trying to do too much? Have you been seduced by personal productivity? What methods do you use to achieve balance in your life?