How Being Busy Makes You Unproductive
Coauthor Emotional Intelligence 2.0 & President at TalentSmart
Being busy has somehow become a badge of honor. The prevailing notion is that if you aren’t super busy, you aren’t important or hard working. The truth is, busyness makes you less productive. Read more.
I found this article on LinkedIn to be a great reminder that the “Quality over Quantity” parameter applies to many areas of our lives, including our work. I am definitely guilty of using low priority tasks to distract me from higher priority activities that I find overwhelming.
Not sure if this applies to you? Take 5 minutes to write down your top priorities (where your time should be going) and your actual activities (where your time is going) and compare the two. Do they match? If not, try using a Structure-based approach to your work to maintain flexibility while minimizing business that detracts from actual productivity. A Structure is NOT a schedule, which is inflexible, but a rough guideline to help prioritize the things that are most important. Here are the basic steps:
- Set aside 10-15 minutes at the end of each week to create a structure for the next week.
- Start by making a list of the tasks you need to accomplish, then number them in order of priority.
- Fill in your structure with inflexible things first, such as classes or meetings that occur at specific times, then fill in tasks from high to low priority.
- Be sure to give yourself cushions of time between meetings or tasks to minimize stress from unplanned events or problems causing some tasks to take longer than expected. When you are “running on time,” use your list of lower priority tasks to make the most of those “in between” minutes.
- Plan to take breaks! Grab a coffee or lunch with a friend, take 5 minutes to Read The Pub Club newsletter or catch up on your Twitter feeds. Our minds function best when they are relaxed and refreshed, so taking this easy step can make us much more productive when we get back to work.
- Re-assess your structure at the end of each day and make adjustments as necessary.
While I do not claim to have mastered the art of time management, using this approach has greatly improved my time use efficiency and my overall productivity.
Have your own approach to maximizing efficiency and productivity? Please share by using the comment box or submitting your own post.