We can be tricked into thinking “hard work pays off”, to the point where it gets counter productive. You might think you’re working hard, and maybe you are in some ways, but it is very well possible that you’re not being effective.

If you’re busy and overwhelmed, taking time off to take care of yourself might seem counterintuitive. Spending time eating lunch, exercise, hanging out with friends and going on vacation can feel like slacking, but instead, these habits are vitally important to actually make progress. These moments allow you to recharge, get new ideas and put things into perspective.

A couple of things to think about around self care:

  • Make time to eat well and exercise. There are thousands of posts around these topics: ways to get into better shape and how to transform your diet. To be effective, you need to have good habits around your health in place.
  • Check in with how you feel regularly. You have a busy life, which might result in you ignoring certain signs of your body and mind. Keeping a journal and seeking silence from time to time can go a long way to get to know yourself a bit better.
  • Keep your calendar in check. Know that you are the only one responsible for your schedule. Others might expect stuff from you, which makes saying no difficult. However, you need your downtime as well and nobody else is going to claim it for you. In your work, the key to do less while getting more done (and staying sane) is delegation.
  • Know what is the most important to you right now. You can only spend your time and money once. This gets a lot easier when you have a clear target. Setting quarterly goals helps with this. For me, writing these posts is one of my key projects. Knowing this helps me to know which things I shouldn’t spend (too much) time on.

A little less concrete, but today might be a great day to check in with yourself to see if your calendar and priorities for next week are as you’d like them to be.