Busy or productive - which one are you?
"I'm so busy at work". We hear it all the time. Sometimes from our own mouths. And while busy can be great for business, it doesn't always mean you're getting results or making the best of your time.
Successful people may have a full schedule, but they're more productive than they are busy.
How productive are you? How much more could you be achieving in the same (or less) time, so you can enjoy more time doing things away from work with family and friends?
Match your traits and find out for yourself
Taking on every job vs creating a practical to-do-list
- want to fit as many things as possible into their day
- spend a lot of time dealing with other people's 'urgent' matters that may not really be important right now
- end their day with most of those to-dos being added to tomorrow's jobs
- take a less-is-more approach by only accomplishing important tasks
- understand how to differentiate between urgent tasks and important tasks
- can confidently slash and burn their initial to-do list by half if needed.
Jumping around between tasks vs focusing on one
- try to do too many things at once
- have all kinds of files and documents open at the same time
- take calls every time the phone rings, even in the middle of important tasks
- constantly check their emails, even in the middle of doing something else
- get each important job done (or as far as possible) before moving to the next
- will only do two tasks at once if the second task is easy and related to the first
- include time in their calendar for everything, even the quick task
- have a slot for emails reading, replying to or prioritising their inbox
- allocate more time to the things that will help them complete their most important day goals.
Study: Being focused really is smarter
Bouncing between uncompleted projects isn't just unproductive. Research shows it's not healthy for the brain, as we lose the ability to focus our minds.
For example, a study by King's College in London found that checking emails compulsively throughout the day could lower your IQ by up to 10 points.
Glued to your desk vs take a break
- eat lunch at their desk or work area most days
- rarely 'take 5' in the morning or afternoon
- are glued to their phones when they do take a break
- allocate time for lunch
- use breaks to refocus, reenergise and refuel
- move away from their work zone during breaks lunchroom, outside, etc
- talk about non-work stuff while they break
Not sure what you'd do with yourself if you took a real lunchbreak?
Here are 7 fun things you can do at lunch to help you
- improve your memory
- increase your attention span
- boost your creativity.
When it comes to business, being busy is usually better than being quiet. However, unplanned and unfocused busy-ness could be costing you time, effort and money.
Including simple productive techniques in your daily routine can be great for your bottom line, time management and personal wellbeing.