There's no secret to getting a lot done in the short term -- insane hours, even crazier amounts of coffee, and a willingness to neglect everything else in your life will make you a super producer for a matter of days or weeks.
The harder thing is to keep your productivity up over the long-term. Try the techniques above and either your mental or physical health (or both) is bound to give out eventually, leaving you limping along barely accomplishing anything as you nurse yourself back to health. It's an overall productivity lose, and it's what we call burnout.
But Ali Schultz thinks she can teach you to be a superproducer for the long haul -- even if you work in the most stressful entrepreneurial environments. A coach and the co-founder of Reboot.io, in her bio she describes her "superpower" as the ability to help her clients "bear the rigors of work/life existential challenges."
How does she do that? On the TechStars blog recently she shared her seven-part prescription for avoiding burnout. Here's a basic outline to pique your interest.
1. What is work to you?
The first step to immunizing yourself against burnout is radical self knowledge, according to Schultz. Ask yourself, "What is work to you? Is it your job or your joy? What did you parents teach you about work? How did they relate to work? What is your relationship to work right now? What is success to you? What is failure?"
2. Embrace vulnerability
Be brave enough to admit to your negative emotions. "Start by voicing your feelings, even if it's just to yourself or your journal," writes Schultz. Connecting to a community of peers can help too.
3. Know your flow
"You need to learn what it takes for you to be in your creative flow," insists Schultz. Questions like these can help: "How do you work best? How do you show up on your best days? What do you do to show up on your best days (eat well, sleep well, exercise, play, etc.)? What can you do to support yourself so that you can show up like that more often?"
4. Look fear in the face
"Your fear has much to teach you. Be brave enough to ask yourself in moments what you might be afraid of. Trace your responses and inquire deeper," instructs Schultz.
5. Examine your values
Really, there's no line between the professional and the personal. What you do all day is a huge chunk of what you do with your life, so ask yourself questions like these to see if who you want to be aligns with how you spend your days: "What is your vision for your life? What values do you hold? What kind of adult do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered?"
6. Set up personal rituals
Got a handle on what drives you, what terrifies you, and what energizes you? Great, now take action by developing a few key rituals.
"Personal rituals can help you connect to who you are and your purpose, and provide a center to orient your day around. Develop a habit of grounding to remember those important things--who you are, what you believe, what your vision is and what your intentions are for the day," advises Schultz.
Avoiding burnout isn't all hard work. You also need to "create spaces in your days that are unburdened and you are connected to your most intimate being and to your community," according to Schultz.