You can define productivity in a many different ways. To me, productivity means achieving my highest creative potential on a consistent basis. If that’s a definition of productivity you'd like to go by, then you’re about to find out the biggest secret to getting there!
Many of us are used to a really fast-paced life. We are used to the high stress that comes along with it. The constant state of stress gives us a high and makes us temporarily more alert. In that state of alertness we're able to achieve a high productivity level.
The alert state of mind from the stress-induced rush is not only temporary but also very left-brained. Our logical minds are almost always on a high, and that makes us very quick with our thinking. But it also keeps us stuck in similar patterns, in uninspired and old ideas and in limited and rational ways of finding solutions.
BUT ... if you engage your right brain, you’re able to think more creatively. New ideas, different solutions and out-of-the-box options are more likely to come up with this side of our brains.
Therefore, the secret to supercharged productivity is ...
Taking smart breaks that engage your right-brain!
Let me explain:
You take breaks that help you switch from your left to your right brain, inducing creative thinking and innovative problem-solving. You end up getting things done in a smarter, more efficient way, even though at first it seems like taking a break is going to be a waste of your productive time.
With practice, you let go of the need for perfection, so your new ideas come to you at the most unexpected times. This makes it possible for you to exceed what you would have otherwise achieved with a normal day-to-day workflow that didn’t involve taking smart breaks!
So how exactly can you take smart breaks? Here's a simple guide:
1. Every time you find yourself mulling over a problem more than three times, change the scenery of your workplace. Go for a walk, read something hilarious or listen to some fun music. This will allow you to get into your body and switch from your left to right brain.
2. When you’re feeling lost or confused about what to do next or about a specific issue, just schedule a break to do something that you would have done on a weekend. Maybe that means shopping, a hair salon visit, or a massage. Just let your inner child get some pampering. This allows you to relax more fully and inspires creativity.
3. If you have a huge deadline and really busy days ahead of you, challenge yourself to take short 5- to 10-minute breaks that take you out of your mental zone. You can allow that to happen by using a nearby park, a small space with an incense stick, or a part of the building that feels pleasant to you. You can resolve to incorporate smart breaks 3-5 times a day when you can stretch, smile and breathe or just walk around.
These smart breaks will force you to think less fearfully about your deadline and help you avoid the trap of limited thinking about the possible ways in which you can complete your project in time!