If you research productivity, one of the main tactics is called batching. You group a bunch of similar items and you try to do them all together at once. For example, instead of writing one blog post a day, I could write 7 in a row. This idea is suppose to help you save time, eliminating the steps in between, in the blog example, I would eliminate opening my computer, sitting down at my desk, making coffee, searching for topics, photos, etc. I can see why this works. They always give you the example of doing laundry, you won’t wash one shirt, you wait until you have lots of dirty clothes to load the washer. For a long time I had this idea that batching everything would make sense. I would get a lot more done. And that was true. But something else happened, I became unhappy.
The joy of sitting down every morning and writing, making a cup of tea and relaxing in front of the computer, that would be eliminated if I chose to batch my posts. Instead of doing two drawings a day, leaving enough room to breathe, I was trying to get as many done in one day. The results? Burn out. I really believe now that burning out is a result of batching gone wrong. I learned that is more important to be happy than being productive.
You could run 10 miles in one day, or you could run 1 mile everyday. By doing less more often you avoid injuries, you avoid hating the activity, you create a habit and most important, it makes you happier.
But there is more, you could also go too far and say, yes, but 1 mile is also grouping a chunk of distance, writing one post is grouping a bunch of words. Sitting down at my desk to write one word at a time wouldn’t accomplish anything, same as running 0.1 mile. The key here is to figure out the minimum amount to accomplish something.
It’s ok to film a couple videos in one day, but 10 videos sounds awfully painful. Writing one chapter a day might even be a lot, a couple chapters is too much. It’s like binge watching Tv or eating. There is a fine line between productivity, binging, happiness and burn out. You will know your limits, when an activity becomes work instead of pleasure, when stress hits you, it’s time to stop.
I really think we need to push balance, slowing down and enjoying the process a lot more. In the end of your life it won’t matter much how much you did if you weren't happy.
Thanks for reading.