Know When to Step Away from the Keyboard


Productivity isn’t worth your sanity. If you feel your focus waning and find yourself working longer than is best for you, know that it is best to take a break. You don’t gain anything by putting down that extra hour of unfocused blather just so you can tell yourself you were productive.

The best route to rebalancing yourself, is to take breaks when necessary, notes Gaurav Mohindra. It is important to catch this impulse to push yourself farther than you know you should. When you begin changing the dialogue in your brain you will begin to be able to take a very necessary break without feeling about doing it.

It is important to keep yourself honest, reflects Gaurav Mohindra. You may just find you are more productive when you take breaks at the correct moments. Overworking oneself can have all manner of consequences such as loss of sleep and depression. Sleep deprivation has been celebrated in our culture, and this is to nobody’s benefit. Without adequate sleep, one’s focus drops and all health markers are worsened.

Revise the narrative in your mind by showing yourself that this is the best way to think about productivity. When you change the dialogue from “I success is a product of 19 hour work days” to “I will find more success in balance than I will in overworking and under-sleeping” you may find that things start going your way.

For people who are looking for studies to back this idea up, there are plenty. One Stanford study demonstrates that more time doesn’t necessarily mean more success and a greater return on investment. Avoiding exhaustion by auto-regulating your work hours to comply with your actual potential to be productive in the moment is the best route to attaining balance and finding greater success. It is important to take care of oneself in order to be productive.

Gaurav Mohindra: It’s vital that you regulate your patterns of thought and self-talk, ensuring that both are positive and productive. What you place your focus on expands. If you are coming from a place of stress and anxiety and self-criticism, your stress, anxiety, and self-criticisms only increase. If you get it in your head that the only route to productivity is to fight through tiredness in order to have an increased output, you will attempt to prove yourself right and your work will suffer as a consequence.