It takes work to create a product, whether that be tangible or something else related to your industry. That being said, not all work is productive. This distinction is important because we are often praised for working longer hours by employers, which helps create the misconception that more work equals more productivity. We all work differently. Some people need time to ease into their best work; others are able to complete tasks quickly. In the end, either style can create good work. The amount of hours we put into a certain task does not necessarily determine its quality. This is one-size-fits-all thinking has to be reframed for us to understand the value of our time.
Your time is valuable. That may seem obvious, but we can forget it in between the stress of trying to be productive and getting ahead at work. Recognizing the value of your time can put the work you do into perspective. Including non-work activities into your daily work day is good for your mental health. It can be empowering to give yourself a break from your tasks at work, and in the end, it can boost productivity in all areas of life.
Productivity can be boosted by ‘non-work’ activities that are not always seen as productive. The ‘Shower Thought’ is a widely known example of this. People believe that their best ideas come in times of relaxation; this can be in the shower, on a walk, or listening to music. Relaxation is not the opposite of productivity. In fact, moderate relaxation can promote productivity when paired with times of focus.
This is a reminder that your time is your own. Value it, treat it with respect, and productivity will follow.