A healthier, happier way to work

Nov 14, 2023
2023-11-14 Intentional Productivity blog image - healthy-happy

As we approach the end of the year, I’m mindful of how I can do “less, but better,” a motto from Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism.

But as deadlines pile up during this busy time (or at any time), it can be easy to fall into the habit of overwork without attention to personal well-being or big picture planning.

So today I want to share a handful of small adjustments you (and I) can make to prioritize self-care and sustainability. This way, we can finish the year strong while avoiding exhaustion. 

Here are 5 steps I’m taking to do that, and I hope they’ll be helpful for you too.



1 thing to apply


Instead of pushing harder, find ways to approach your work and life that are smarter, simpler, and more enjoyable.


3 main benefits

  • Being kinder to yourself and acknowledging your limited time and energy reduces stress and burnout and increases self-trust.
  • Taking a smarter and simpler approach helps you to be more strategic with your efforts and focus on high-impact tasks.
  • Working (and living) in ways you enjoy and can sustain makes you more creative, productive, consistent, and satisfied.


5 minutes or less


Here are 5 ways to resist pushing harder and, instead, take a smarter, simpler, and more enjoyable approach:

  1. Set clearer boundaries between work and personal time by scheduling dedicated breaks and avoiding work tasks outside working hours.

  2. Ask a colleague or friend to be your accountability partner for taking breaks, avoiding overwork, or spending more time in your community.

  3. Replace (or combine) one high-stress activity with a relaxing one, such as listening to classical music instead of news during your commute.

  4. Turn off electronics at 8pm. This allows time for your brain to process the day and wind down, and it creates space for quality family time.

  5. Practice saying no to additional commitments, requests, and obligations. Say no when your bandwidth is full, and say no when you want to.



Conclusion: Making small adjustments to set boundaries, focus on your priorities, and tend to your well-being can support ending your year feeling both accomplished and renewed. And it sets you up for a healthier, more sustainable way of working as you move forward.


Your time and energy are your most precious resources. As always, thank you for sharing some of yours with me today.

— Melissa


PS. Based on reader feedback, it seems the “hot topics” lately are saying no/setting boundaries and allowing ourselves to rest. I’m also teaching a corporate workshop on saying no in the coming weeks. If this a topic you want to learn more about (ie. why it matters and how to do it), please email me any questions you have!



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3. Want self care and mindfulness resources? Check out my books:

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