Do you find yourself regularly rushing to meetings and other events? Is there limited time in your life for anything extra? Do you find it’s stressful being you?

If rushing and hurrying are your constant modes of operation, it is likely not only creating stress for you, but also for others around you. As a society, we always seem to be in a hurry – so much so that we don’t even feel like we can slow down. Perhaps you regularly make statements like these:

“I have so much to do, I am not sure how I am going to get it all done!”

“I don’t think I am going to make it through the week without going crazy!”

“I wish I had time to ____________ but I am just too busy!

If you find yourself saying these types of things, perhaps you have fallen into the trap of work-a-holism.

While it may be true that high-performing people get more done, their “accomplishments” often come with a price on their health, their relationships, and the quality of their work. To be clear, I am not advocating for Quiet Quitting or nor would I encourage you to adopt the Bare Minimum Monday mantra (sadly there’s one daily theme for every day of the week to encourage people to slack off). I also find the concept of Lazy Girl Jobs (encouraging young woman to find remote jobs that allow them flexibility for yoga classes, starting the workday when convenient for them, and anytime coffee with friends) highly problematic. In fact, I would suggest the opposite.

Work hard, focus on quality outcomes, and put in your best effort whatever you do. However, once the work is done, you need time to slow down, time to reflect, and time to just be. Incorporating regular pauses in your life may be the very thing you do to improve the quality of your work.

Think about it this way. 100% work during work hours and then 100% rest afterwards. Cal Newport, in his book Deep Work, argues that with enough focus and diligence, most people can produce a lot of work in a relatively short amount of time. That then frees up other time to pause—rest and prepare for the next big push of deep work.

Don’t be enslaved to your outlook calendar. Integrate pauses in your work life to become healthier, happier, and even more productive.

(Next week we will consider how high-performers can learn how to slow down and improve their productivity)

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