Society has convinced us to fold ourselves into countless efficient configurations like a Swiss army knife. Wake up at the crack of dawn. Juggle tasks while doing yoga at your standing desk, breathing self-affirmations over your 700-calorie shade-grown latté.
We consider ourselves failures if we can’t accomplish seven things at once. Who needs leisure, relaxation, or free time when you can compete in the Productivity Olympics? Rest is for the weak! We’re on an endless quest for perpetual motion and non-stop hustle.
What if I told you that it is all for nothing?
I read a quote recently that said that after you are dead, none of your co-workers will remember how many extra hours you spent at work, but your children will. Ah, but children and even spouses will eventually get over your absence in their lives! We base our self-worth on what we do, not who we are, and so we have to trash those relationships to get ahead at work.
Or you could be a contrarian. What if you could go to work and look like you were burning mental energy without ever feeling the burnout? In that spirit, here are five strategies for saving the best of you for what you truly value, while still getting a paycheck for awhile.
Underpromise and Overdeliver
This strategy is so clandestine that it’ll be whispered about in hushed tones at corporate retreats. The key to success here is setting the bar so low that it’s practically a speed bump. Tell your boss that you’ll “try” to finish that project by Friday, even though you’ve had it done since Wednesday morning. When you waltz in on Thursday with your dazzling achievement in hand, you’ll be greeted like a conquering hero.
It’s like promising a single scoop of ice cream and delivering a triple-decker sundae with all the toppings. Just remember that with this technique the only thing that gets more inflated than your reputation might be your ego.
Get With a System
Never discuss any of your objectives with your co-workers. Instead, focus on the productivity system you’ve chosen to implement and talk ad nauseam about how great it is…