in Personal Growth

Live Smarter, Not Harder

“… We rush around in the daily grind of life and at the end of the day, falling in bed exhausted, waiting for weekends to come around. When they do, we spend our time racing the clock stressed about what we didn’t achieve or what’s next on our plate …”

I love this quote from Day 1 of the 7 Days of Calm of the meditation app, Calm. It resonates with me a lot.

Yesterday, I was chatting with a friend about productivity and I mentioned that my mood and energy level are factors affecting my productivity. I was reminded of this quote from the mindfulness program.

At Buffer, we aim to “Live smarter, not harder“.

You value waking up fresh over working that extra hour.

An extra hour of output might be great, but not if that extra hour reduces my productivity by more than an hour of output the next day (assuming it isn’t something that must be done then).

It feels like I have been trying to squeeze in that extra hour recently and it might not be a wise thing to do.

You always aim to be fully engaged in an activity, or resting.

I feel that being fully engaged in resting is as important as being fully engaged in an activity. It allows my mind to take a break and recover so that I can work as well as before or even better.

I schedule breaks into my day (lunch, dinner, calling my girlfriend, etc.), but I’m not sure if I have been fully engaged in resting during those times. I find myself trying to work while I have my dinner on most evenings or thinking about work over lunch. It doesn’t feel very healthy or great for my productivity.

You are at the top of your game, as you focus on expanding the capacity of your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual energy.

My gut feeling is that with the nature of my work being more creative and less straightforward, my output is not largely dependent on the number of hours I work (though, it is still a factor), but also dependent on my mood and energy level too. (How to manage our mood and energy level and whether we should let them affect our productivity could be a discussion for another time.)

I have been missing my meditation quite a bit recently and I just picked it up again, striving to become more mindful about how I spend my time. Instead of trying to work more hours, it might be better to focus on working more productive hours.