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7 Ways To Avoid Being Busy for No Reason

7 Ways To Avoid Being Busy for No Reason

There is really no point in being caught up with the day-to-day drama of acting busy. Being more fulfilled, active and attaining results is not in how hard you work but actually in how smart you work. Rather than focusing on burning energy, focus on getting more results. When you start channeling your energy properly, you will become less busy and more fulfilled.

Here are seven ways you can stop avoid being caught in meaningless busyness:

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1. Emphasize what is important now

Most times we consume ourselves with things that are important but are not urgent, and sometimes we go for what is urgent and that is not important. Finding the right balance between the two pegs you picking what is important now and leaving the rest for later.

2. Have a schedule

Many people jump into activities like a bull chasing a prey. At the end, putting ourselves in so many activities could make us victims for the slaughter. The best way is to understand that there should be a routine or a schedule to organize your activities and make you prioritize. A schedule is a road map to make you function at your best or at your prime. For example, if you are spending seven hours to sleep at night, stick to that schedule. Once you start sticking to schedules and doing what you should do at the time you are meant to do it, you will start freeing up time and become more productive.

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3. Learn to say no

No matter how much you want to get yourself involved engaged into something it may not be worth your time and energy. A lot of things are not worth your attention. Learn to screen what you need to get involved in and those things you really need to ignore. Learn to say no. Spending your time and energy on tasks you actually care about makes your life much more fruitful than when you spread yourself too thin.

4. Do not multitask

It is easy to feel that you can get so much done by multitasking. But this could be a delusion. Our brain is wired not to focus on more than one thing at a time. You are only getting yourself unnecessarily busy and losing focus when you try to get so much done all at once.

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5. Focus on strategy rather than on expending energy

It is easy to get so bugged down that you run from task-to-task without setting aside time for thinking. Thinking and spending time with yourself affords you the opportunity to tap into your inner-self and develop strategy or processes that will make your job lighter.

6. Learn to delegate

It is so tempting to want to be involved in everything that comes our way. We cannot be a master of all. There is no harm in finding someone who can translate your intentions into actions. Delegate as much as possible so that you can free up space to do what will realize more goals.

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7. Know yourself and what works for you

Truthfully, we are all not the same. Some people can function at higher capacity and others may not. It is easy to cook up several guidelines and hope we all put it to heart so as to function better and be more productive. But it doesn’t always work this way. Rather than engage yourself all the time, know what works for you and tap into it. Do you function and work better at night or during the wee hours of the day? Learn to identify what works for you that will make you optimize your performance better rather than being caught in busyness.

At the end of the day, the benefit of maintaining your health should be enough reason to follow the reasons put before you from the above points. Look inwards and find a balance to expending energy and gaining more results for your work.

Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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