Power Players

How AOC stays productive and positive: 'I'm always trying to do less'

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) passes through the National Statuary Hall January 9, 2020 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong | Getty Images News | Getty Images

For Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, being a member of Congress requires being "on-call 24/7," she recently told Vanity Fair. But despite the demands, AOC has trick to staying both productive and upbeat.

"I try to focus less on 'productivity' and focus more on impact," Ocasio-Cortez, 31, wrote in an Instagram story Saturday night.

Ocasio-Cortez, who sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Financial Service and often works until 10 p.m., doesn't aim to do "a zillion things a day," she said on Instagram. "In fact, I'm always trying to do LESS." 

AOC prefers to do "a few things well (even if it's one thing) in a day," she said Instagram. This mindset is better than trying to get a ton accomplished "out of a sense of obligation and not know if they were impactful," she said.

Doing things out of obligation or guilt in the past has made Ocasio-Cortez feel burned out and exhausted, she said in a separate Instagram Q&A in May 2019. "I just started saying no to everything I wasn't 100% super invested in or things that weren't initiated by me (and I said no to some of that, too)," she said.

This tactic has helped Ocasio-Cortez "preserve my energy and focus inward on how I can improve, work on things I'm passionate about, use my time effectively and think big-picture," she said.

Now AOC's work "blesses" her "with a sense of purpose," Ocasio-Cortez said in Saturday's Instagram Q&A.

But like most people, AOC is not happy every single day. "I wish I could say I stay positive all the time, but I don't!" Ocasio-Cortez said. "I have hard days and things get me down, too."

And that's OK, according to AOC.

"It's important to remember that these are all an aspiration or guidepost, and it's perfectly fine and healthy to not be a busy bee all the time," Ocasio-Cortez said. "There are seasons in life when you're supposed to be marinating and growing, I believe, and while it may not look like a lot is happening on the outside in truth there's a lot of growth happening on the inside."

Check out: Inside AOC’s daily routine: ‘I am an aspiring morning person’

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