Being terminally busy seems to be an affliction of the modern age. If you aren’t constantly hanging off your phone and checking email, and if you don’t have every segment of your day scheduled, it is easy to feel that you are doing your job well enough, or you are not popular or important enough.
Do you have days where you find yourself rushing around like a mad thing, yet at the end of it can’t think of one useful thing you have done? This could be a sign that you are too busy and not productive enough.
Believe it or not, there is actually another way.
Rather than rush around from one place to another, you might want to try slowing down and focusing on what you actually need to do. It sounds simple, but in a society where being constantly on the go is almost like a status symbol, doing less can be easier said than done.
Productivity is all about making the best use of your time. If you are feeling stressed out and like everything is getting on top of you, and if you don’t have time for the things or people you enjoy, then it is well worth your while to stop and think about whether everything you are doing is strictly necessary.
When you constantly take on too much, you run the risk of becoming burned out and you end up getting less done. Seem pointless? It probably is.
Being too busy and not productive enough can also cause major problems for your business. Nothing says ‘unprofessional’ like missed deadlines, unreturned phone calls and turning up late for meetings. By taking on too much, you can end up letting down clients and colleagues and getting a reputation for being flaky or unreliable. Clearing your schedule so that you cut out unnecessary appointments, and focus on what is important, could vastly improve the level of service you provide and help prevent things slipping through the cracks.
Just because you are busy does not mean you are getting a lot accomplished. If you feel like you probably can do more with your time, why not consider cutting out a few obligations? Although it may be tempting to use being busy as an excuse for forgetting to return calls or emails or missing out on that important meeting, doing so runs the risk of making you look less competent than someone with less on.
With increasing emphasis on work/life balance, and taking time out for ourselves, hopefully society is starting to catch up with common sense in terms of how much pressure we put on ourselves and how much we can realistically achieve.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that being busy means you are a high achiever! Improve your productivity, rather than just increase your busy-ness level, and you may find you get more done, and you actually have a bit of time for yourself. Now that’s success!