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7 Ways To Avoid Being Busy for No Reason

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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.

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

More by this author

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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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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