The Path to Relaxed ProductivityAUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
“Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax.” ~ David Allen
According to the New York Times, relaxation is key to productivity and, vice versa, effectiveness is quite helpful when it comes to enjoying a peaceful life.
A lot of people, and a lot of companies, still believe that to be more productive you need to work longer hours. However, it has been proven that productivity decreases after maintaining concentration for a certain amount of time.
Being productive has a lot to do with knowing how to pay attention to what is important in each moment and eliminating, or at least smoothing out, the obstacles and distractions that appear in our way. It also has to do with knowing how to manage our energy levels. Our energy is not constant throughout the day, so taking smart breaks and getting a good night’s sleep are important factors for us to achieve better results in all of our projects.
Maximum productivity occurs when we make something happen with as little effort as possible.
To achieve a relaxed productivity, it’s necessary to react appropriately to any situation. Over-reacting will generate stress and anxiety, and under-reacting or reacting badly will generate problems with stuff to which we have committed ourselves to, which, in the long run, will also generate more stress and anxiety.
There are many things you can do to make it easier. The habits and behaviors incorporated in the GTD (“Getting Things Done”) personal management methodology aim to achieve a more relaxed and satisfying way of living and working. It’s not about working harder or longer hours, it’s about better defining your work at different levels of detail and taking all of them into account.
If you manage to adopt a structured system to comfortably face your daily activities, then you will learn to effectively process all the information that comes to you, to better manage your thoughts, to make the most of your ideas, to focus on results, to make decisions with confidence… No matter what happens. You will always be ready to face something new because you will have the necessary control and peace of mind.
When you know you have a system that allows you to react in the right way — neither too little nor too much — to anything, you live more relaxed and lose your fear of the unknown. That’s how you get more done with less effort. That’s how you get to be productive and enjoy all its side effects: less crisis situations, more sense of control, more relaxation, more free time…. More quality of life!
Some people tell me that GTD is too complicated. It is not. It’s difficult to establish the necessary habits to make it work, but the method itself is very simple. It’s as simple as it can be. It could be simpler, but then it wouldn’t be effective and therefore lose its value. Since it’s a matter of habits, it’s quite common to fail a couple of times before managing to implement GTD successfully.
Everyone needs a system, an approach, a structure on which to rely on in a natural way to cope with their way of life, which is becoming more and more complicated. GTD is a good option, the best I know, because behind each of its components there are very good reasons for them to work.