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Important People Are Busy But Unimportant People Are Not?

Important People Are Busy But Unimportant People Are Not?

We used to imagine the rich and successful to have lives of leisure. We saw them as people who took long, luxurious vacations, who ate at the best restaurants and enjoyed expensive hobbies. Their wealth and success meant that they were free to enjoy their time exactly as they liked, and no longer were forced to work stressful, long hours like the rest of us.

However lately, that image seems to have reversed. Today we seem to imagine the rich and successful to be always incredibly busy and overworked.
Indeed, research has shown that some are beginning to view a hectic overworked lifestyle as a symbol of status.[1] As something to work towards, and not away from. Excessive free time is no longer seen as the domain of the rich and successful, but the domain of the lazy.

But why is this?

The Perception of Being Busy

Somewhere during the 20th century, more and more of us began to prioritize work in our lives above all else. Such prioritization meant that we no longer kept to traditional 9-5 working hours. It is assumed that the more hours a person puts into their work, the more they must be earning. With the more money being earned, the more successful a person seems to be.

What is strange, as evidenced by the earlier mentioned study, people want to look like they are earning well through working hard, even if that isn’t the case. Its similar to how some people buy fake designer watches, they want to look successful, even if they aren’t. As such, if you’re not busy, far from it implying that you can afford to have free time, it only implies that you have nothing to do.

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    The effect of this view is that people may find themselves working long, tiring hours for little reason. Taking up jobs they don’t need to do

    But really, working hard for long hours often has little to no correlation with success. In fact, it often implies the opposite or multitasking just for the sake of multitasking. Really, multitasking and working long hours often has little or no correlation with success. After all, ask as single mother with two kids and three jobs and see if she feels rich and successful.

      Ultimately, doing one thing well is a lot better than doing a lot of things poorly. Multitasking, instead of making you smarter, more productive and more successful, actually has the opposite effect, it makes you stupid.[2] It is actually decreasing your IQ by ten points at times, which may have the additional effect of making wealth and success harder as you’ll be building it from bad work.

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      Are You Busy-holic?

      Being busy for the sake of being busy only means that you’re spending your time for nothing.

      When you’re busy, your mind is being overwhelmed by a constant barrage of information. The human mind is simply not good at functioning effectively when it is forced to deal with so much information.

      A professional musician spends their time in a state of constant practice. Their skill and knowledge is always developing and increasing. They work in ways that are cognitively demanding but satisfying. However, “knowledge workers”, people who work in fields like tech or business, lack this and instead spend their time doing work that is repetitive, and doesn’t really test us. As such they fill their time trying to do as much of this work as possible, without reason. The work is ultimately shallow.[3]

      Improve Your Worklife

      Most of the time when people are working, they aren’t involving themselves in tasks that require much thought. If you work in ways that require deep thought, instead of being tired and overwhelmed by the constant desire to work unnecessarily, people will enjoy these three key benefits:

      • We will see continuous improvement in both the quality and value of our work output.
      • A notable increase in the quantity of well produced work.
      • Deeper satisfaction with work and the work you have produced.

      The desire to work unnecessarily, overwhelming yourself in pointless tasks and long hours comes from a lack of satisfaction in your work itself. But how do you find such satisfaction?

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        The key to this is to try and figure out what your key purpose of life is, what your true passion is. Don’t worry if you don’t know this at the moment, we have you covered. Here is a Lifehack article all about this.

        Once you have identified what it is you are passionate about it. Consider following these three steps:

        1. Prioritize

        Time is not infinite. Each second that goes by is a second that you will not get again. So, why spend your time focusing on things that you aren’t passionate about.  Find your passion and work on it!

        I understand that many people have jobs that don’t interest them. However, say you work from 9am-5pm, that still leaves you many hours free to spend doing things that you are passionate about. This is only the case of course if you don’t spend your free time multitasking or accepting jobs unnecessarily. You will find spending this time on your passions to be far more rewarding than wasting time on pointless work.

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        An effective way to make the most of this time is to start scheduling and organizing your time very specifically. In this way you’ll be able to spend each second of your day as efficiently as possible. For more information about freeing up and reclaiming your time, I recommend you take a look at this article, it’s full of lots of great advice about freeing up your time for productivity.

        2. Minimize

        In scheduling, you might find that there are many tasks that you have to accomplish, but are ultimately not related to your ultimate goal. In tackling these jobs, consider which ones play to your skills and abilities the best then tackle those first. Its easier to enjoy things that you are good at, and if you can delegate the remaining tasks to others who may be better suited to those tasks. Then don’t be afraid to ask.

        If you do have to complete these tasks, consider putting aside a maximum amount of time to spend on them in your schedule. In this way, these tasks won’t end taking up time unnecessarily.

        3. Eliminate

        This third step is probably the most important. When looking at the many tasks and jobs you have to complete each day, ask yourself “how important is this?” and “what would happen if I didn’t do this?” about each one. If you think any of these are unimportant, and nothing particularly bad would happen if you didn’t complete them. Then simply cut them out of your day. Where you once may have spend a few precious hours on these tasks, you will get this time back for you to spend how ever you wish.

        If you follow the above steps, you should immediately find yourself becoming more satisfied with your life and your work. What’s more, by identifying your purpose and freeing time up time for it, you’ll increase your chances at success because your time won’t be spend on unnecessary and time consuming work.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Leon Ho

        Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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        Last Updated on September 10, 2019

        How Continuous Improvement Can Enhance Your Personal Life

        How Continuous Improvement Can Enhance Your Personal Life

        Kaizen is the Japanese philosophy and practice of continuous improvement. This concept of continuous improvement was first conceived in the USA during WW2.

        To maintain the production levels and meet demand, the industry had to come up with a system that would allow for incremental progress in production rather than no progress at all – which was very much the reality the industry was facing.

        This concept of consistent incremental improvement proved to be a huge success and saved the US manufacturing industry from a rapid decline.

        After WW2, as part of the rebuild programme for Japan, the Japanese were invited to visit manufacturing plants through out the USA. The Japanese took this successful concept of continuous improvement and adapted into Kaizen.

        This philosophy formed the base from which the Japanese have built a manufacturing industry that dominates the world today.

        In this article, I’ll look into what continuous improvement is and how you can make use of this concept to enhance your life.

        What does Kaizen (continuous improvement) have to do with you?

        So what does Kaizen have to do with us? How can it help us enhance our personal lives?

        “Persistence, perseverance, and continuous improvement are the ingredients for forming a successful person.” — Debasish Mridha

        While Kaizen was originally developed to help businesses improve and thrive, it’s just as applicable to our personal lives.

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        The Kaizen philosophy of continuous improvement I believe is a failure proof system that enables us to achieve and sustain our personal goals and dreams in life.

        The concept of continuous improvement offers us a way where we can live our lives to the fullest by continuously learning, growing and thriving.

        We live in a world of never ending disruption and change. By adopting the philosophy of Kaizen, we become more adaptable, flexible and resilient to dealing with the constant demands and disruptions we face in our lives.

        What continuous improvement is exactly

        The philosophy of Kaizen is based on the concept that instead of making big changes at once, the continuous improvement approach focuses on making small improvement over time.

        Kaizen is often referred to as the “strategy for 1% gains”. It is these 1% gains that athletes focus on to improve their performance. The 1% gains are incremental and if you keep building on the 1% gains the rewards are phenomenal.

        Continuous improvement is perpetual and so to maintain gains and improvement, you need to work on them continuously.

        Your personal improvement journey is never finished! What this means is, if you are truly committed to philosophy of continuous improvement, you are less likely to quit because you are always in search of the next goal.

        How continuous improvement empowers you

        How many New Year resolutions have you made and never achieved over the years?

        Unless you are one of the small minority who are goal orientated high achievers, maintaining motivation and the commitment to achieving your goals is hard work and dare I say it – with not much success – one big FAILURE after another.

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        Hence, these are the reasons why New Years’ resolutions are never achieved.

        Continuous improvement can help you to achieve any goals you set. If you commit to the practice of continuous improvement, your motivation to achieve your goals and aspirations in life will never die.

        “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” — Benjamin Franklin

        You will never have to struggle with the dilemma of giving up or giving in because it all became too hard.

        Your achievements and success in life will be as a result of you taking continuous incremental steps toward your goals.

        Continuous improvement is not about reaching the big goals in life but about taking small steps and improving and refining along the way.

        How to commit to continuous improvement

        If you truly desire a successful life where you are thriving, the first thing you must do is embrace and accept that your journey of self improvement and growth will never end. It is a lifelong journey of learning.

        Once you have accepted that your journey to improving your life is life long, you then follow these steps:

        1. Set your goals based on the philosophy of 1% incremental achievements

        Remember that setting the goal is the easy bit. Keeping motivated, focused and on track to achieving any goal is the hardest part.

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        The concept of continuous improvement provides you with a system or a process that if you commit to following will enable you to confidently achieve any goal you set- you are guaranteed to win.

        “Instead of trying to make radical changes in a short amount of time, just make small improvements every day that will gradually lead to the change you want. Each day, just focus on getting 1% better in whatever it is you’re trying to improve. That’s it. Just 1%.” — Brett and Kate McKay of The Art of Manliness

        It might not seem like much but continuous 1% improvement/achievements every day will gradually add up to 100% and the goal is achieved!

        In their book The Art Of Manliness, Brett and Kate McKay talk about how the journey of self improvement and personal growth is a lot like a rollercoaster ride – scary, exciting and with lots of ups and downs.

        They believe that by following the concept of Kaizen (the 1% improvement) every day enables you to get off the roller coaster ride of feeling like a failure and being angry with yourself because you keep giving up.

        2. Break down the system into small actions

        Continuous improvement is a journey of personal growth where you are making long-term steady progress. It is not about random bursts of improvement with fits and starts of activity. This approach to self-improvement will not give you the sustainable long-term changes you seek to improve your life or achieve your goals.

        For example, if you have huge debt and you want to pay it back but it is all too much, so you hide away from taking any action. To put the concept of continuous improvement into action, the first thing you need to do is not focus on how much you owe, instead focus on creating a system or process that enables you to pay back an incremental amount each week.

        Once you have created the system, you must break down the system into small actions or behaviours with the least resistance and effort. Commit to these actions on a daily basis until your original system is habit.

        Commit to paying back a realistic amount each week and then increase the amount you pay back by 1% plus every week after that. Keep going until the debt is paid off.

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        3. Keep track of your 1% success

        The other important factor about incremental achievement is that you must measure and keep track of your 1% successes.

        Evaluating and measuring your improvements are important for your own motivation and commitment to the journey. If you are not measuring your progress, your subconscious brain will kick in and sabotage your progress by convincing you that it is all too hard and you are not making any progress at all.

        Your subconsious brain only believes what you tell it. Unfortunately you have told your brain a lot of untruthful things over a long period of time about how you are a failure, not motivated and never really achieved anything in life. Your subconscious brain as a result believes all these “facts” that you have told it to be true.

        Measuring and evaluating your 1% successes is key to you retraining your subconscious to believe that Yes – you can achieve your goals and succeed in life!

        Focus on the progress, always

        Continuous Improvement does not focus on making huge gains or big improvements all at once. Instead it focuses on long-term steady progress.

        When you follow the philosophy of Continuous Improvement, you won’t radically change your life but over time with consistent and constant improvement and change, you will find that you are living your life to the fullest – empowered, resilient and thriving.

        Why would you not want to embrace this philosophy of incremental improvement and growth into your personal life?

        “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will be a stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” – Sir Winston Churchill

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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