priorities productivity work scheduleIt’s not that difficult to find an article these days about how Millennials work differently. We have a different sense of work-life balance, therefore, older generations may label us as lazy, unproductive, or distracted. Please, stop talking about us like we’re a disease.

It’s true, in an age where my phone buzzes, email notifications pop up on the screen and with Pandora playing in the background, I have a few things going on in that mind. But I also don’t fear getting started on work at 6:30 a.m. or working through 6:30 p.m., even all night if there’s an event on tap.

I still find myself under pressure to adhere to the “work day” schedule. Even while working remotely in a home office, I feel a stigma that work needs to come between the hours of 8 and 5. I grew up on a ranch, where there is no such concept of an 8-hour work day, but years of University and office work have eroded that concept.

Writing emails, scouring documents and creating material all day can be exhaustive. Not so much on the body, as much as the mind. I find a mid-day run can truly clear the mind and reset my focus for a few more hours of work. Yet, I feel guilty for taking an hour out of my early afternoon to hit the road or trails.

Stretching out on Sunday with a hike and trail run at home in Helena.
Stretching out with a hike and trail run at home in Helena.

Then, in an email one day, I read, “stop prioritizing our schedule and start scheduling our priorities.” Gosh, that applies to my situation so much, I want badly for it to be standard.

It’s true, though. Schedule your priorities — give your mind a chance to hit the reset button— then those daily tasks and dreaded items become easier to manage. I can get caught up so much in everyone else’s expectations, that I become incredibly ineffective when I forget to take care of my priorities.

If I schedule time for that mid-day 10-mile run, those late afternoon hours are so much more productive than if I had pushed through just to make it to 5 o’clock. Instead of hitting that wall, that two-hour lunch break made up for so much more than two hours pushing through work. That weekend to unplug makes Monday a fresh start full of energy instead of dreading the start of another work week.

How will you schedule your priorities?

As we kick off the new year, consider what your priorities are. Will you unplug and recharge to be more productive? How will you accomplish those goals and will you schedule time for productivity aside from the daily grind?

Now excuse me as I take off for a good run…

Originally published on Beef Runner.

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