Don’t be fooled by the glorification of addiction to busyness. If you’re not ‘productive’ regularly, you might be too busy doing things that don’t require much effort and thought. Being busy with limited time is a badge of honor nowadays.
People boast about how busy they are to anyone willing to listen, and many people believe that being busy is a sign of being one of those productive people.
Not only can this be detrimental to your personal life, but it can also have adverse effects on your career – whether you’re trying to climb the corporate ladder, experience a lack of leisure time, or try to get more out of your human life.
So, most probably, being busy does not equate to being effective as we may think and may affect your physical health, especially mental health.
Being busy doesn’t necessarily make you better at what you do, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a different kind of work you’re doing.
You could have a busy life doing the same things that everyone else is doing- some people are just busier than others.
So, how does this benefit you? Joining a team, joining a department, keeping your skills sharp, and having a vibrant social life might help you in the long run, albeit many other factors to consider.
However, it would help if you were careful not to work the same amount of time by putting in all this extra time. Not being effective.
Often people mistake ineffective work for hard work. You see this, especially in the corporate world, where you might work longer hours, chase task completion time, but still not get anything significant done. Sometimes we go by what we consider effective and not what we should consider effective.
There are minor differences between ‘being busy’ and ‘effectively productive.’ And these can make a big difference in your overall contribution to the company, your personal life, and even your time on earth.
What makes a person busy?
1. Fill your diary with times when you’re available to meet.
2. Having many meetings or attending unnecessary meetings, so you can say you’re busy.
3. Putting a high priority on responding to email and voicemail messages right away, so you can say, ‘I’m so busy. (A good habit, but if the priorities are not set)
4. Watching a lot of television or surfing the internet, and then claiming it all to be work (A poor habit, to say the least)
5. Taking long lunches or working in remote offices where you’re cut off from your co-workers so you can claim that you have a busy time.
The reason why these activities are considered ‘busy’ is that they require little mental effort.
For example, you can respond to an email immediately, get your voicemails, or meet with someone immediately without putting much thought into it. That’s why it requires little mental energy and is a low priority- you’re not doing anything important.
We often do these things, so we can say we are one of those busy people. And we say this because we think people will think we have a lot to do in a TO-DO list, so we’re productive.
So, How To Get out of Busyness?
1. Take a step back and analyze what you’re doing. What are you doing that is effective, and what are those things that don’t require much thinking?
2. Don’t let being ‘busy’ have such a high priority in your life but instead make it a third or fourth priority – something you could do when you’re out of essential things. Reschedule anything that can wait until tomorrow so you can work on more important tasks right now.
3. Choose to be productive when you want to be productive and choose not to if you don’t want to. Remind yourself that it’s okay to be doing important things, and remind yourself that you don’t need to make yourself feel wrong about not being busy by doing unimportant tasks.
You’ll find that once you stop being busy, your productivity will increase significantly- and therefore, the quality of your work might get better as well.
Busy Vs. Effective: How can I be productive but not busy?
You can be productive without being busy by:
1. Set a clear schedule that will allow you to get things done when you choose and leave spare time.
2. Creating small daily priorities and working towards them one at a time. For example, instead of multitasking (holding an email and watching TV together), do the email first, then watch TV. If you have a lot to do, prioritize it one at a time- don’t try to ‘do it all at once.
3. Maintaining a lot of rituals and routines, so you’re not working out of habit.
4. Have a good sleep schedule so you don’t get tired at the wrong time.
5. Maintaining a healthy routine for meals, exercise, and daily maintenance activities like brushing your teeth and getting dressed in the morning (the things another bunch of people takes as part of their everyday lives)
6. Eliminate unproductive distractions, like TV, the internet, and distraction games all around us, and get time for passion projects or project-based learning.
If you feel tired or stressed, try identifying why you’re doing some of these things. Is it because it’s just a habit, or is something else driving it? If there’s something else going on with you, then maybe that activity is not worth doing, and you are losing an insane amount f time. If you can do other things more effectively, eliminate them, and be more efficient in time management.
Sometimes, we just need to give time to time
You know, we all have a clock ticking in our brains. It’s ticking every second that we’re not working on something. Or we were thinking about something else. That means that our brain is working on something else. And it’s not just one thing. It’s probably a bunch of things, but the ones that matter are the most important, ones that can affect our life.
Successful people know that it’s not about working hard. It’s about working on the right things and having nonwork time. It’s about being productive instead of just being busy. So, what makes us more effective? Busyness or productivity?
To be more effective, we need to change something in our lives, but we also need to change something inside ourselves. Many feel there is no way out if they’re already feeling this way, but I want you to know that it’s not too late.