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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

        What Is Creative Thinking and Why Is It Important? 12 Reasons Why Rote Learning Isn’t Effective in Learning 50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success How To Work Remotely And Stay Productive The Lifehack Show: Yoga to Combat Stress and Improve Your Life with Nicole Lovald

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        Last Updated on March 30, 2020

        What Is Creative Thinking and Why Is It Important?

        What Is Creative Thinking and Why Is It Important?

        Have you ever wondered why some can come up with amazing ideas while others can’t? The ability to connect the dots and see the larger picture all rest in a certain skill – creative thinking.

        Creative thinking is our ability to look at ideas presented or a scenario, and find new alternatives that solve the problem. Best of all this skill isn’t bound to the creative people like designers, musicians, or other artists. A lot of people can benefit from thinking this way from time to time. They can also receive a number of benefits on top of a wide variety of ideas that can spark change.

        What Is Creative Thinking?

        Defined by the Business Dictionary, creative thinking is:[1]

        A way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unorthodox solutions (which may look unsettling at first). Creative thinking can be stimulated both by an unstructured process such as brainstorming, and by a structured process such as lateral thinking.

        Creativity is, therefore, our ability to form something new out of what’s presented. It’s our ability to think differently and provide new angles and perspectives to a solution.

        This can translate to a new solution that wasn’t there or even the realization that a problem doesn’t need a solution at the moment or at all.

        The Importance of Creative Thinking

        True that many people may not care so much about new solutions or angles but that’s the point. Our brains have a natural tendency to fall into certain ‘shortcuts’.

        Have you ever been in a situation where you hear or learn one piece of information and you use it all the time?

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        I bet you have, since we don’t need to relearn how to use a knife or a fork.

        That way of thinking does have its perks in those situations but has some drawbacks in other situations. This is especially true with problem-solving.

        Creative thinking and creative thinkers are needed in those situations because it pushes out of that linear way of thinking. It encourages us to look at other perspectives and even open up to the idea of new solutions.

        Creative thinking is also important for other reasons:

        Thinking creatively provides immense freedom.

        When we create, we have the opportunity to engage with the world without judging ourselves. It’s similar to what we felt when we were a child. Back then we didn’t care what people thought of us.

        Creative thinking provides self-awareness.

        We start to think with authenticity as we use our own thoughts, feelings and beliefs. This creates biases in our ideas, but we can learn to set those aside and deeply learn about ourselves.

        We become more confident in our ideas.

        Maybe right now, you don’t present ideas or your ideas get shut down. By tapping into creative thinking, we can build our confidence in our ideas and start to contribute to the group and our work at large.

        What Are the Creative Thinking Skills?

        Creative thinking isn’t barred to those who learn in creative fashions. Anyone can pick up creative thinking skills and use them to enrich their lives and those around them.

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        Because anyone can learn this, there is no one “right” method or a set of skills you absolutely need. Some of us may need to strengthen one area while others may need to do more. Regardless, here are some skills that can complement creative thinking.

        1. Perception & Empathy

        Feeling surprised that this is one of the creative thinking skills? Being perceptive and empathetic works hand in hand with creative thinking. Being able to read the mood of a meeting or a discussion you’re having with people can help immensely.

        This is key because there are times and places to share ideas. Specifically, you may find the best opportunities to share ideas when:

        • You’re facing a major problem or issue and can’t seem to find a way to proceed and solve it.
        • During times of change, when the future is more obscure than usual and you’re thinking of possibilities.
        • When there is a clear divide between what people think needs to happen. It’s especially needed when no compromises can happen without considerable effort.
        • When something new is needed and hasn’t been tried before.

        Empathy also helps with how an idea is presented. Maybe in your workgroup, people aren’t always receptive to your ideas. However, there is that one person who always has a plan and people support.

        Empathy is letting that person take “ownership” of that idea and be the voice behind the idea. In these sorts of scenarios, you build up more than empathy. It also builds the belief that your idea will prevail in the hands of someone else.

        2. Analytical

        Analytical skills help us in understanding many other situations outside of the social environment. Being able to read text or data and have a deeper understanding of what they mean will serve you in a variety of ways.

        I find that with creative thinking, the first step is being able to intake information and digest it in various ways. Being able to analyze information is often the first step in the creative thinking process.

        3. Open-Mindedness

        Once you’ve taken in the information, it’s important that you have an open mind. This means you need to set aside your biases or assumptions and encourage yourself to look at a problem in a new way.

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        Biases and assumptions are some of the mental barriers you’ll face. But looking at the other barriers, they often stem from that sort of thinking. A strict and “this is how it should be” way of thinking. Other examples of limitations are that you’re thinking of a problem too logically or that creative thinking is somehow breaking the rules.

        These are limiting because we know that to have an open mind is to succeed. Every successful entrepreneur in the world today had to break rules at some point in their lives. Consider Richard Branson or Elon Musk whose work revolutionized or created an entirely new industry. All because they didn’t back down to how things were. You can do the same thing within your own group in some fashion.

        4. Organized

        The last thing people associate creative thinkers is that they’re organized. While we think of great minds have messy rooms or desks, that’s not the case at all.

        Being organized plays a crucial role in creative thinking in that it allows you to better organize our ideas. Not only that, but it also helps to present it as well. When we present ideas, it’s similar to a speech. There ought to be a structure, a vision, and have it easy to follow and understand.

        Furthermore, if your idea is given the green light, you’ll need to form an action plan, set goals, and have specific deadlines. Being organized will keep you on your toes and prepared for almost anything.

        5. Communication

        Communication plays a vital role in all this as well. You can’t sell a group or an individual on an idea if you can’t communicate effectively. This applies to both written and verbal communication skills.

        This goes back to empathy a bit in that you need to understand the situation you’re in. This also means you need to be a good listener and being able to ask the right questions.

        6. Dissect Ideas

        The last skill I’ll offer is a challenging one but can pay off in so many ways. Sometimes creative thinking means taking two ideas and merging them.

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        This helps because in most situations ideas in their base form might not be able to satisfy the original goal or problem. That or maybe the idea is outright terrible but, there are some good pieces of information in it.

        The ability to look at ideas and be able to break them down and dissect them and merge with other ideas is a great skill to have. This could easily help solve disputes and help to find a middle ground.

        Some Examples of Creative Thinking

        The list of creative thinking examples is endless. In most situations, these examples will boost your creative thinking as well so I encourage you to try them out yourself:

        • Designing anything from a logo, to a simple webpage layout, to a poster and more
        • Creating a lesson plan for a group training course
        • Writing in a journal, a blog, or any social platforms
        • Creating a test or quiz from scratch just for fun
        • Brainstorming project ideas at work, or decor/renovation ideas at home
        • Finding procedures to improve the quality of a product or service
        • Suggesting solutions to improve a product or service

        Bottom Line

        The number of examples of creative thinking is endless but they are all challenging. This is a good thing as the world continues to change and grow. This pushes us to learn new skills, to think differently, and to start asking the more important questions. “Why?” and “Why not?”

        These are skills and abilities that can change the world and that anyone can adopt. So long as you have the patience to learn and develop yourself, you too can be a creative thinker!

        More Tips to Boost Your Creativity

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

        Reference

        [1] Business Dictionary: Creative Thinking

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