Five counter-intuitive ways to get more done

As a multi-potentialite, one of my passions is travelling. And as I’m writing this post, I am on holiday for one week in the French Alps. We rented a small ‘chalet’, one of these typical wooden mountain cabins with a great view on the snowy mountain tops.


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And so, although Passions Pilot is one of my passions too, for one week, Passions Pilot will be on holiday as well. This means that I will be writing but there is also lots of time for other activities like sports, exploring the surrounding villages, hiking in the mountains, enjoying nature now it’s spring time, enjoying the local foods and drinks etc.

This break is not only just for fun. I feel like I really need a break from time to time. After all, we’re not robots, are we? At least I know I am not.

Are you (too) busy making a living?

It’s good to be as productive as possible. It’s good to be goal-oriented and to work hard to achieve those goals. It’s good to work and earn money to support your family and have some savings for less fortunate times, for when the kids go to university or for your retirement. But…


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It’s easy to get caught in a situation of working long hours, not taking the time to have a decent meal, so taking fast food out and eating it at your desk, getting stressed because you never get enough done and then not sleeping well, drinking lots of coffee to wake up and drinking alcohol in the evening in order to be able to sleep. The next day: Rinse and repeat.

And on top of that, you feel guilty when you’re not working. You are over-exploiting your body and mind. The results are a burn-out, heart attack and other diseases linked to this way of life.

This life style is a short term strategy. Industrialisation and over-exploitation of your body is counter-productive in the long term and finally destroying the only instrument you have to achieve your goals. So shouldn’t we take more care of it?

Don’t forget to make a life!

What is the secret to be ‘productive’ and to get more things done in the long term? It is ‘Variety’. We’re not born to do, eat, drink and live the same things every day.


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So here is a small list of what you can do to get more done:

  1. Slow down from time to time. You don’t need to be in overdrive all the time.
  2. Get into the habit of healthier eating and drinking.
  3. Do some sports regularly, go outside for a walk (or for a run) and enjoy the beauty of nature.
  4. Do something completely different to what you were doing. Change activities regularly during the day. Make your day a mix of trivial chores, creative, intellectual and relaxed activities.
  5. Get more ME time. Set aside a couple of hours every week in which you can do anything that you like. No need to get results, just have fun.

And I know, while doing this, you will have the impression that you are wasting time in which you could be working. In the short term, yes, you could be working in those hours. In the long term, the opposite is true.

You need a balance between being super productive and more relaxing activities. During the time that you are doing the above activities, your batteries are getting recharged. You will feel much more energised, much more creative and more productive afterwards.

Being productive is not only about time management. It is also about managing your energy. You can have time but if you’re too tired or not feeling well, you will not be very productive. Managing your energy also guarantees that you will also be able to be productive in the long term and thus achieve your long term goals, whatever they might be.

So, never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life!

Your view?



Five counter-intuitive ways to get more done

9 thoughts on “Five counter-intuitive ways to get more done

  • April 11, 2017 at 10:40

    I’m relating so much wth point number 5. It actually the “life” itself!

    • April 11, 2017 at 10:51

      I’m happy to hear and I agree. It’s important to have enough ME time, a bit of time for yourself.

      • April 11, 2017 at 12:59

        Life is about balancing out your interests, work life, family and friends and lots of other stuff you feel in your life.

  • April 11, 2017 at 16:02

    I used to feel guilty if something after hours at my job went unnoticed or missed. I realized that management, at least in my field, is not for me. I was so worried about being connected to work all if the time that I was missing out on my life.

    I decided to take a big leap. I dropped the management role and went back to school for a new field entirely. One that not only inspires me and holds my interest, but one that offers competitive pay and so many different types of work acrosd multiple industries that I’ve expanded my capacity to be choosy about jobs that don’t offer a good work/life balance.

    Since I work from home I also used to work while sick thinking it was silly to “call out” when I’m just sitting at home. I’ve recognized the importance of true rest in recent years and I’m practicing better self care these days. That means if I’m sick and I need rest, I sleep.

    Thank you for the reminder to stop and play sometimes. It is truly important. ❤️

    • April 15, 2017 at 08:01

      Thank you LeAnn. It’s true, a good work/life balance is very important and working while you’re sick doesn’t do any good for your body. I’ve done that in the past too and learned that you need to listen to your body.

  • April 14, 2017 at 13:33

    I’m a little late to this article (and no, I’m not going to say I never had the *time*, haha! I was just doing offline things over the past few days), but just wanted to say, I nodded along to all of it. Time is relative, as Einstein pointed out, and slowing down paradoxically makes it expand. Also, doing what lights you up ensures that you enjoy the time you have, instead of just wishing for the weekend or your next holiday!

    Keep up the good work 🙂

    • April 15, 2017 at 08:11

      Thank you Sibylle. Interesting paradox from Einstein. I must explore that a bit 😉
      And yes, it’s such a shame wishing time away and it’s definitely better to enjoy the time you have.

  • November 21, 2018 at 13:19

    This is great Nickita. Like you say – counter intuitive.

    I would also say that giving yourself deadlines work to achieve more.

    One lady I used to work with was always out the door at 5 to pick up grr daughter from school. She never sat still at work. Always finishing a task, then another, never sitting still or chit chat. She was more productive than those that allowed them selves the ‘luxury’ of a long work day

    Working a shorter day to achieve more.
    Very counterintuitive 🙂


    • November 22, 2018 at 05:56

      Thank you, Shaun! It’s counterintuitive because you’re managing your energy levels and not only your time. There needs to be a balance. And yes, deadlines help too but they need to be reasonable.

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