“Are you keeping busy?” Is quite possibly my least favorite phrase right behind “We’re not serving wine.” Both elicit a reaction from me that is along the lines of what’s the damn point?! My point is: I want to be productive, not busy. To me, being busy entails worrying around, hustling and bustling but never actually completing tasks. Productive, on the other hand, means getting work accomplished and moving forward in order to achieve your goals.
how do we move from being busy to being productive?
tip # 1 – turn off notifications!
Put that phone on DND (do not disturb). Turn off email notifications on your computer. And don’t even think about opening Facebook. No. STOP, don’t do it.
tip # 2 – compile a list of task.
I use a notebook to keep on my desk to write all the tasks you need to complete during the day. I also use Google Keep to file items when I don’t have my todo notebook handy. I write everything down with a tick box and then I get the satisfaction of shading the box in when I complete a task.
tip # 3 – batch similar tasks
On Friday, I wrote about block scheduling and task batching. This is a huge step for productivity. If you work on similar tasks in a time block you keep yourself on track and avoid your mind racing back and forth between topics. Focus, kids.
tip # 4 – designate specific times for email
Nothing derails my day faster than opening my email at a time I haven’t scheduled and getting sucked into a stream answering questions, sending out information, and recently, fighting with a rep from a hole in the wall web hosting platform out of Michigan.
I check my email at 8 am, after lunch, and 4:30 pm. That is it. No more, no less.
tip # 5 – take breaks
You are completely useless if you don’t give your brain a quick minute to reset once in a while. Take a walk, take a breath, stretch.
Next time you find yourself asking someone if they’re keeping busy, instead maybe ask what projects they’ve been working on; let them know you’re interested in they’re projects and goals, not their busy work.