Hustle culture is nothing new. Professionals in virtually every field often feel compelled to go the extra mile and be productive at all costs — even at the expense of their family, friends and health. This kind of toxic productivity can wreak havoc on your overall quality of life. If you feel like you’re constantly burning the candle at both ends, it’s time to reclaim your life.

Writer Dave Schafer contributed a post for the Trello blog with five tips to overcome toxic productivity. We share his guidance in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Learn to prioritize. It’s easy to get pulled from one urgent task to the next. But do you ever ask yourself if these tasks are truly urgent? Chances are, they’re not as important as you think. Schafer recommends listing your to-do items in a prioritized list, beginning with the urgent and important tasks. This ensures that you’re making progress on things that are meaningful to you and your life, either personally or professionally, he says.

2. Know that your job is not your identity. This is called professional detachment. The idea is that you can be productive and committed without your whole life and sense of self-worth revolving around your job, Schafer says. You can get there by understanding that you are so much more than just your job. And if you mess up or get rejected, remember that it doesn’t reflect your worth as a person.

3. Schedule free time. Everyone can benefit from time in their day to do absolutely nothing. Whether you go on a leisurely walk, take time to listen to the birds outside your window or mediate, these simple ways to unplug can do wonders for your well-being. These activities are purposefully unproductive, Schafer says, so make sure to build time into your day for them.

4. Establish boundaries between your work and personal time. Maybe you commit to ending work at a certain time each day. Or maybe you switch out of work mode when you attend an evening class at your gym. Boundaries are a great way to restore your work-life balance and help you return to work refreshed and rejuvenated rather than stressed, Schafer says.

5. Build breaks into your schedule. Your calendar is probably jammed with meetings and appointments. Most people try to squeeze their actual work into the few hours that remain, Schafer says. Then after work, they jump into an equally packed personal life. You can overcome this kind of toxic productivity by looking for ways to pad your calendar. This could mean adding 15-minute buffers around meetings or taking time each day to enjoy a lunch away from your desk.

Remember that you don’t have to be productive all the time. Give yourself breaks and time away when you need it. By slowing down occasionally, you’ll often find that you can accomplish more.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Dave Schafer is a writer for the Trello blog.