The theme of sustainability for the month of April made me think of Earth Day and how we can use this month to dedicate and give thanks to the Earth for being the foundation of our lives. It also made me think of how sustainability is versatile and can be applied in any aspect of our lives not just resources.
When was the last time you took a nap, or just sat in silence for a little bit? These two things are interchangeable examples of how we can make ourselves more sustainable and overall, more productive with our lives.
Sustainability is not just a physical concept; It includes comparing the needs of something with the outcomes and how to achieve the best outcomes sustainably.
The concept of personal sustainability is not talked about in American culture because we are taught to work, work and work harder all the time. But what if we looked at the meaning of “work” as more than physical?
If we work harder on planning how we are going to execute the physical work in timeliness and quality, it will empower us to be sustainably expediential with our physical work and the outcomes we gain from it.
Being successfully sustainable in the physical world begins with being sustainable with ourselves and our time. Time offers endless opportunity but only if it is managed right can you reap the best outcomes.
The needs of something include many tasks but it should also include something like a nap. If you were planning your week and scheduled yourself from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, it may seem as if your week will be extremely productive. But, in most cases, by the middle of the day, you will be overworked, overwhelmed and unmotivated.
Eventually, you will unconsciously degrade the quality of work being done, and ultimately, by the end of the week, you most likely will have to make edits to the work from the latter part of the days and week due to the quality of work dropping.
Not considering a “nap” or “break” in the day as part of the needs for your daily outcomes will set you up for failure. It will introduce maintenance work of old goals while you are working on your next goals, which is not sustainable.
Giving yourself even 15 minutes of pause every day will allow you to mentally refresh and continue producing high-quality work and reaping high-quality outcomes.
As we approach graduation, I have found myself asking repeatedly, is this sustainable and how can it be the most sustainable for my life?
This habit has truly helped me make smarter decisions that will have larger payoffs and longer lifespans than some decisions that offer short-term payoffs with long-term maintenance.
Examining the sustainability of anything allows you to become as prepared and proactive as you can be, which ultimately leads to the most productive and rich outcome possible. Next time you are looking into a career or taking on a project, ask yourself, “Can sustainability be completed and what do I need to do to accomplish that?”