Most people are aware that higher stress levels are likely to decrease your productivity. When you’re stressed, you don’t perform as well. The National Library of Medicine even studied the phenomenon and found that higher stress scores equaled lower productivity scores regardless of factors like gender or race. Simply put, stress is a drain on productivity, no matter who you are.
But there’s an inverse relationship that is also true: Increased productivity can actually reduce your stress levels. Here’s why:
Productivity Makes You Feel Organized and Confident
When you’re productive, how do you feel? Down in the dumps or defeated? No. Productivity makes most of us feel good – confident, organized, and successful. And that’s a great antidote for stress. Plus, it’s a positive cycle: being productive makes you feel good, which makes you want to continue being productive. And continuing to be productive means your stress levels stay low.
Being Productive Means You Get Things Done
Is your source of stress the list of things you need to get done that seems to grow ever longer? When you’re productive, you can start checking this off that list. And for many of us, that helps us to feel far less stressed. It’s simple: A long list of to-dos can be quite stressful. But a productive person will get things done, reducing the stress source.
Productivity Helps You Be More Creative and Innovative
When you’re stressed, your brain is taxed. A stressed person is not likely to be very good at problem-solving, much less innovating or coming up with creative ideas or solutions. Conversely, a person who is not stressed will have an easier time thinking outside of the box and coming up with new and exciting ideas, even in a short timeframe. In this way, being productive – and lowering your stress levels because of it – helps you be a better creative thinker.
Use Productivity to Combat Stress
Don’t take productivity for granted. You’re not only checking things off your to-do list if you’re getting things done. You’re benefitting your brain and lowering your own stress level at the same time.