For whatever reason, most of us think that the key to productivity is to manage your time, keep focused, and have self-discipline.
Sounds right. But the good news is that it’s not.
And I’m glad it’s not because, honestly, I’m pooped. I’ve got a lot on my plate these days and I find myself running out of steam by the end of each day.
I could keep pressing on each evening. There’s always more to do. But this is when I remind myself of what Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz discuss in their book The Power of Full Engagement. Down-time is not a waste. Down-time is, in fact, very productive. When we structure our day (or week) as a series of sprints followed by periods of relaxation, we won’t find ourselves ragged as if we had just run a marathon. When we manage our energy, rather than our time, we accomplish more in the long run.
So I’m going to take a little of my own advice and turn off the laptop in order to put my feet up with a book. It sounds luxurious, doesn’t it? But it’s necessary. I know it’s going to help me be more productive tomorrow.