Mindful Productivity: How Top Achievers Combine Focus and Balance

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Your big-dream goals matter … but not at the expense of your health.

Sadly, western messaging still pushes the idea that putting your physical health on the line is essential to achieving success. From sacrificing your sleep, personal life — and eventually your mental health — “hustle-culture” tells us that the end goal is the only thing that matters. No wonder burnout is on the rise.

But what if there was a better approach to productivity? What if you could create practices that help you reach your objectives without sacrificing your overall well-being? Thankfully, there’s a healthier approach to goal execution.

Enter: Mindful productivity — a creative process you can use to tackle business and personal goals in line with your natural capacity and energy levels.

Let’s take a closer look at how to harness mindful productivity skills to accomplish goals in a more nourishing way. 

What is mindful productivity? 

Mindful productivity means consciously engaging in an important task and minimizing distractions. The “conscious” part is the most important bit. 

By being aware of your emotions, thoughts, and surroundings, you can work with your internal and external environments — instead of warring against them.

How can mindful productivity help me stay focused and balanced? 

Mindful productivity helps you design a schedule, mental framework, and habits that set you up for success. When you’re aware of your emotional, mental, and physical needs, you can better support yourself on your way to achieving your goals.

Imagine a CEO who wakes up at 5 am, skips lunch, and sleeps in the office. The exhaustion they put their body through affects their cognitive function, decision-making skills, and mood. While they may be putting in more hours, these habits eventually lead to burnout. 

On the flip side, imagine a leader who gets eight hours of sleep, has a healthy morning and evening routine, and works during their peak energy hours. While they might be working less, their daily practices protect their well-being and enhance their productivity skills.

5 ways to practice mindful productivity 

We all have our own ideas of what “balance” means. By better understanding ourselves and honoring our personal limits, we can become conscious decision-makers when planning our workloads. 

Here are some ways you can explore mindful productivity:

1. Work with imposter syndrome by practicing self-compassion 

According to best-selling author and speaker Elizabeth Gilbert, self-forgiveness is a powerful tool when dealing with imposter syndrome.

In an interview with entrepreneur, speaker, and writer Marie Forleo, Elizabeth mentioned the  mantra, “Done is better than good.”

In other words, show up and commit to doing the work, no matter what your inner chatter says — and no matter how well it turns out. Replace doubtful thoughts with Elizabeth’s mantra, or write your own. 

Try your best? Always. But don’t let the fear of not being good enough (or failing) stop you from completing your goals. You can’t always control the outcome, but you can choose to consistently apply yourself and learn from your mistakes

Here are some other mantras you can try if you’re battling imposter syndrome:

  • “I’m enough.” 
  • “I’m worthy.” 
  • “My dreams and ideas matter.” 
  • “I have what it takes.” 
  • “I can do this.”

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time. And more about how you run your mind.” — Robin S. Sharma

2. Build mindfulness practices into your daily routine 

Weaving mindful practices throughout your daily routine can help you become more self-aware. Whether it’s pausing to take a deep breath or following a meditation practice, build in habits that can help you take care of your mental fitness.

Entrepreneur and business strategist Tony Robbins also recommends taking a hard look at the meaning you give your experiences.  

“The meaning you give your experiences will always change how you feel — and the emotion you feel will always become the quality of your life.”

Tony recommends working on infusing meaning into your career by asking questions like:

  • How can I bring meaning to my work?
  • How can I align my work with what matters most to me?

Some other mindfulness practices you can try include: 

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Mirror mantra work
  • Journaling
  • Gratitude journaling
  • Concentration exercises
  • Deep breathing
  • Emotional intelligence exercises 

It’s also important to remember that if you’re experiencing burnout symptoms or need extra support, there are professional mental health services that can help. You can also seek support from the comfort of your own home by scheduling a telehealth appointment or online therapy sessions (and even getting prescriptions sent to your door if needed).

3. Adopt an entrepreneurial mindset

Serious entrepreneurs don’t have time to waste. They focus on what they do best and delegate or automate the rest.

In other words, mindful productivity also means working smarter instead of harder whenever possible. Especially when it comes to tackling tasks that drain your energy levels. A practical way to do so is by creating a list of tools, templates, and checklists you can use to cut corners. 

For instance, if you’re looking to start your own SaaS company, you could use a startup business plan template that’s digital and pre-vetted instead of crafting your own from scratch. This will help you follow a proven framework and drive productivity. It also allows you to prioritize the holistic well-being of the startup team, ensuring a resilient and thriving foundation for the business.

To organize your funding, request timelines, product designs, and marketing plans, you could use a Work OS. You could also use the app to collaborate with team members, create internal workflows, and set up automation.

To oversee your business finances and replace endless spreadsheets, you could use a money tracking app. The app could also help you save time when reviewing your budget or tracking funding donations. 

To manage your employees’ schedules and oversee team capacity levels, you could use an employee scheduling app. You could also use the app to track and approve employees’ paid time off and always make sure you have enough coverage. 

If you’re using mindful productivity to tackle a personal goal, there are plenty of ways to save time. Consider hiring a contractor for a few hours to work on tasks you don’t specialize in.

Holger Sindbaek, the owner of World of Card Games, shares, “In my journey as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that adopting an entrepreneurial mindset is pivotal for mindful productivity. It’s not merely about chasing success but prioritizing our focus, energy, and resources on what drives progress. 

This mindset shift has empowered our remote team to work smarter, not harder, by emphasizing strategic planning and effective delegation. We’ve cultivated an environment where each task is aligned with our core values, ensuring that our efforts contribute meaningfully to our collective goals. 

This approach has enhanced our productivity and fostered a culture of well-being and motivation across the team.”

4. Plan your workload according to your unique energy and capacity levels

The key to staying focused and balanced is being mindful of your personal needs and limits. This looks different for everyone. For instance, you might work best in the mornings while a colleague works best in the late evenings. 

When mapping out your goal achievement plan, try to schedule your action steps during times when your energy is naturally high. Work in time blocks, such as 90-minute intervals, and commit to doing deep work during these sessions.

If your time blocks are ideal but you still feel exhausted, try adding more buffer time between milestones. Weave in personal breaks so you can get a chance to snack, stretch, and get some fresh air.

Discovering ways to take action toward your objectives without sacrificing your health is one of the most profound choices you can make for yourself. 

Instead of putting your wellness on the line, try mindful productivity practices — like the ones we explored today. 

Learn your limits, honor your capacity levels, and watch how much more “easeful” you feel as you head toward your passions and goals.

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