When 'Busyness' Cuts Into Productivity, We Lose
By Sandy Schroeder
All of us are busy and our culture accepts and reinforces that lifestyle, but sometimes "busyness" can work against us.
Dr. Travis Bradberry spent some time recently explaining what can happen. Bradberry is the co-founder of TalentSmart.com, which serves 75 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, and two million working professionals. Bradberry posed the question if our hectic schedules could be holding us back.
Think About It
- Are you up to speed on your current projects?
- How many emails and texts do you handle daily?
- Do you practically work 24/7 taking work home and responding to calls at all hours?
- Do you always have multiple projects going on?
- Do you go to way too many meetings?
- Is your day a blur of calls, people, and discussions mixed together?
- How often do you have long blocks of uninterrupted work time?
Researchers from the University of Michigan said multitasking can slow an individual down and increase errors. When you shuttle back and forth from one task to another, it can take at least 15 minutes to reorient yourself to the work at hand. Of course, there is the temptation to slide over to other interesting sites to browse too.
Now add in social texts and calls and the day can fly by without making any inroads into key projects. All of our good intentions to make projects happen can be weakened by all of the daily commotion.
If you have ever looked at the clock, and the blank document in front of you, and wondered what happened to the day, you know what this is like.
What to Do
Here are some tips.
- Look around your workplace to see what busy looks like
- If you are working at home, see how that fits with the rest of your life
- Take a good look at how busy you are on a daily basis
- Consider how many weekends you work
- Start tracking emails, texts, meetings and hours
- Do an overview of current projects and set goals for each one
- Consider coming in earlier, taking a break away from your desk at lunch, and leaving on time
- Set up new guidelines to avoid working around the clock
Obviously, we all need to communicate, interact and act like humans instead of robots as we figure out how to be more productive. So one day will not be identical to the next, and there will always be room for life's variables, but we might produce more if we streamline our schedule and get a grip on busyness.
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