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‘Busyness’ is not the same as being productive

By Nancy Nzalambi | August 2nd 2020 at 08:56:33 GMT +0300

Packing your schedules with back-to-back activities creates lot of action. While many mistakenly wear being busy as a badge of honour, even glorifying it, it does not necessarily guarantee quality results.

You could be drowning in projects thinking you are compiling praises to become the best and produce what is perfect, but really, who are you competing with? The pressure alone will make you insatiable even with commendable progress.

Multi-tasking deceives us that we are getting more work done. This myth is still driving most of us to overwork yet it is one of the root causes of burnout. We are more than halfway through 2020, a year riddled with lessened work for some and more for others. Nevertheless, we all have to make a living by getting the right things done.

Own your day

When you feel like you are breaking your back trying to keep up and still, at the end of the day, have that nagging feeling that you are behind schedule, reconsider your priorities. Manage your day instead of having the day manage you. Maximise your time and try to move a few steps closer to the goal.

A productive person will schedule tasks and work on them step by step. They would be result-driven and action-oriented. A busy person, on the other hand, will be spending too much time doing research on how to do everything right, take longer to get the work done and still complain that time is never enough.

With nothing tangible to show, busy people will always be victims of time. Instead of owning their tasks, they let their tasks own them. To get inches closer to your goals, restrain from bouncing from one task to another and retrain yourself to operate in a more result-oriented mindset.

Create a system

To have a better ability to focus, create a system that allows an hour or two of deep, uninterrupted work. A system streamlines your tasks so that you prioritise on what is important. Any decision you make must be guided by a priority.

Deep work needs concentration and is necessary to complete the day’s goals. Apply proven tactics such as breaking down extensive tasks into smaller, more manageable goals.

You don’t not have to commit to every project that comes your way. Rather, say “yes” while being more strategic with your time. If need be, let it go. This makes it possible to conserve energy and optimises your organisation.

Overcome busy’s emotional elements

Having too many tasks and being unable to do most of them well will affect your mental state. Many will feel so overwhelmed, guilty, anxious, hurried and even frustrated that they put too much time with little to show for it.

Work eventually becomes a threat to your mental well-being. Career coaches call it “the modern sickness.” Do not be too busy being ungrateful for life. Our relationships with loved ones suffer.

Being busy places you in a state of chronic stress; missing out on life’s precious moments. You risk waking up one day and realising that you never really accomplished your goals and you neglected your own self-care. It is a lose-lose situation.

Have a daily introspection

Being busy makes us feel like robots. An honest daily introspection of work and social life will expose areas you need to work on with mindfulness. Awareness of your time utilisation will make you feel more human.

Invest in your most precious resource; yourself. Take time to think, recharge and connect. Reward your progress on results, not excessively long hours at work. Your dependability and dedication will be measured on the results you produce.

Don’t the small stuff

Busy people waste a lot of time obsessing over little things. Most of such things revolve around perfection. Instead of focusing on hitting milestones, busy people are in constant worry about piling deadlines.


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