How to Keep Your Productivity High and Burnout Low

The Illusion of Success

We’re conditioned to believe that we’re not succeeding unless we’re clocking in the overtime, climbing up that ladder, and dedicating ourselves to the job. And when you’re not physically at work, you should at the very least be constantly checking your email for fear of missing something important.

And then there’s the flip side of that. There are self-proclaimed gurus and seven-figure earners who started out broke and promise to have the secret to their success. They promise to pass it on if you just wait until the end of their webinar, sign up for their discovery call, and enroll in their fancy Facebook group disguised as a group coaching program.

Between those two extremes are the rest of us. It’s not about working yourself to death or discovering the secret to success. Whether you work for an employer in an office, work remotely, or work for yourself, the most important thing is balance and efficiency.

Using the Right Tools

You have to make sure you’re using the right tool for the job. Using the wrong tool often ends up causing frustration and ends up resulting in double the work, which costs more time than using no tool at all. I will often write about tools I use and recommend. There’s a whole category for it on the blog.

But all the tools in the world can’t help if you don’t know how to use your time efficiently. My friend introduced me to work cycles, and it was the greatest thing that could have happened. I needed to figure out how to finish work efficiently while still growing my business.

Using Time Wisely

I’ve always been able to work for long stretches of time. I’ve used time trackers. At one time even used a program that monitored what window was open and for how long. But without a framework for analyzing what I was doing, I was just creating data. I had no way to know where to focus my improvement efforts.

The Ultraworking team combines the general concept of breaking up work into chunks with group accountability and moderator guidance. Their dedication to helping you use your time as efficiently as possible is inspiring. You have access to the tools to make every part of your day productive, and they walk you through how to use them. In addition to their 4-hour work cycle sessions, they run work cycle marathons and peak performance pentathlons, special speaker guests, and all kinds of other great things.

Work cycles are great no matter if you’re working on your main business, a side project, or a hobby. Breaking up work into smaller chunks is simple, but their implementation and support has radically changed the way I work. They also help with mindset and being clear and specific with your goals.

headphones and glasses on desk calendar

Keeping the Balance

Self-care is as important as the work you’re doing. Because I’ve registered for specific cycles, I know which hours I’ll be working. I can plan out what I’ll be working on, and know that in those few sessions. I’ll finish an entire week’s worth of work or more. I’m able to spend most of my week meeting and keeping up with clients and other general work.

I became a member of their Work Gym, one of the best decisions for myself and my business. It makes taking breaks from work guilt-free and makes finding a work-life balance easier. And it’s nice to be part of a group of people working hard and getting things done.