Most of us would define our days as being busy, but is this actually the case or are we just really bad at getting things done…which creates an illusion of ‘busyness’?
Most of us will say we are busy but yet still have the time to sit down and watch MasterChef or Love Island in the evenings.
So, if lack of time isn’t the reason we are so ‘busy’, what is the reason?
Lack of Planning.
We’ve all go 101 things we need to tick off our To Do list, but very rarely do we actually come up with a concrete plan of how and when we are going to do it. It usually just ends up at the back of our minds somewhere as something that needs to get done, at some point, on some day.
When planning out our days, we want to start by allocating time to the most important tasks, whatever they may be: work, family time, going to the gym… Regardless what it may be, give these tasks priority in your day.
Think of filling up a jar with different size stones.
If you start by filling it up with all the little ones first, when it comes to the big stones you will find that they won’t all fit into the jar properly. If, however, you start with the big stones, you won’t only manage to fit them all in, but the little ones will then fit in and around them without a struggle.
Start your day by writing down the three biggest tasks you need to complete.
Then pick which one of these tasks is the most boring or mundane and schedule to do this task before any others. You will often find that if you leave this task till last, it will only become more daunting and less likely to be completed.
Once completed it will yield a great feeling of achievement and you can look forward to the rest of the day.
I will be the first to hold my hands up and admit to being terrible for this. It got to the point where I had a sign behind my laptop at one point which read “Are you working”, to which the answer was often “No”.
It can be all too easy to get caught up doing things we shouldn’t be when we have the world at our fingertips on our phones and hundreds upon hundreds of TV channels to mindlessly flick through.
The best course of action to task then? Get rid of them.
Just over a year ago, I was sat watching TV (more specifically an episode of The Big Bang Theory which I had already seen countless times before) when suddenly the screen just went black.
After taking it to get fixed, I was told that in no uncertain terms that it was well…fucked.
I haven’t had a TV since.
What I have had though, is a massive distraction taken away from me, which has allowed my productivity to go through the roof.
Now, I’m not saying to throw your TV in the skip or not have mobile phone, but if you need to get work done, then I strongly advise you switch them off for a couple of hours and put them out of arms reach. You’ll find you can get twice the amount of work done in half the time.
The last reason for being busy all the time? We Forget to have Fun.
When we get caught up in the stresses of day to day life, it can often catch up on us and we end up burning out.
The problem with this is that we often ignore the signals and carry on regardless. But in doing do our performance drops, our motivation fades away and our results are poorer.
What we need to remember is that from time to time, we need to take a break and do something for ourselves that gives us enjoyment and satisfaction. It’s okay to be selfish.
“You can’t serve from an empty vessel”
Once doing so, you’ll find that you approach tasks with a new sense of determination and conviction to get it completed and that you’ll be better placed to help others as well.
My selfish task is going to the gym. I get a great deal of enjoyment from it, but it also lets me clear my head and refocus, with the added benefit of being able to help others by passing on my knowledge.
Everybody has lots of plates to spin. The problem is that we are just spinning too many that don’t matter.
- Focus on what tasks need priority in your day
- Set a timetable to achieve your daily tasks
- Remove distractions from your immediate grasp
- Be selfish from time to time and have fun