Looking after your Greatest Asset, You

Looking after your Greatest Asset: You

Why productivity doesn’t have to lead to burnt out


For someone who is forever goal setting, I tend to have multiple projects on the go at once. I’ve always understood the idea that slowing down and not trying to do everything at once is a healthy way to achieve goals but when the to-do list is piling up, I haven't always found this easy always to put into practice. Which (surprise, surprise!) leads to overwhelm and, eventually, burn out.

I have discovered there is another way; this is a life lesson I come back to time and time again:

In order to maintain the stamina needed in going after goals, we need to look after and invest in ourselves regularly.

Look how nature keeps reproducing itself; it knows that in order to sustain life, it needs all the seasons. It needs to let go of what it no longer needs in Autumn. It allows deep rest in winter, in order to have the energy in Spring, and to enjoy the abundance of Summer. Each cycle is valid and needed to propel itself forward.

Note that there is a whole season for inactivity, where nothing much happens. We often put huge pressures on ourselves to be productive 100% of the time, push ourselves hard with never-ending to-do lists, then criticise ourselves when we can’t get to the end. We push ourselves to do more, be more, have more… all of the time without rest and then wonder why we feel anxious, stressed and exhausted.

So, here´s 3 practices and how to develop a self-care plan that you can start to implement straight away to still be productive and not give yourself a break-down…

Developing your own self-care plan:

  1. Either choose a few things from the list below or create your own.

  2. Commit to how many times you are going to do them a week and for how long.

  3. Put it on your to-do list, reminders on your phone, your diary and tell other people you are doing it. Ask anyone that you are living with to help you keep that time distraction-free.

  4. Enjoy it. It’s OK if you have feelings of guilt. It might be difficult at first. Keep going. You are creating a new helpful habit.

Incorporate Self-Care in your Daily Routine:

Success is just the outcome of doing a list of activities that get positive results, repeatedly. This is the same with self care: doing it regularly will enable you to get the maximum mental and physical benefits. This routine also serves as an anchor in times of stress and difficulty. It says, “I'm important, I can take care of myself.”

Alternate Right and Left Brain Activities:

When we use our left brain (cognition} too much, we can become overwhelmed and mentally tired. If this starts to happen, our productivity levels are going to become very low. Rather than persevering and taking 10 times longer to complete a task, have a break and do activities that use the right part of the brain (i.e. listen to music, go for a walk, get a hug, draw, write with your non-dominant hand, do a breathing exercise). Then go back to what you were doing, you will find it much easier to concentrate.

Factor Guilt-Free Rest into your Week

I borrowed the term “guilt-free rest” from a client who is rewriting the rules on allowing himself to have more rest after hitting a crisis point caused by overwork. I loved this idea so much and he’s given me permission to share it with all of you. Rest is so essential for productivity that it needs to be part of your working week. YOU are your greatest asset and, if you’re not looking after yourself, you and your outcomes will be likely to go down in value.

Daily routine ideas:

  • Meditation. Guided or still. Watch my free guided grounding morning meditation.

  • Journal writing

  • Yoga/stretching

  • Watching/reading/listening to inspirational material

  • Goal setting/planning

  • Affirmations

  • Getting out in nature

  • Exercise

“I give myself permission to take care of myself”

Love, Ismene xxx

Ismene Coleicole