If you are completely honest with yourself, how often are you really productive?
Not busy. Productive. There is a distinct difference.
Generally, the more busy you feel, the less productive you are. When we feel busy, we feel frantic and stressed. Those are the times that we become most susceptible to distractions. It is a lot easier to deal with stress by watching videos, noodling around in a full email inbox, or talking to co-workers about how incredibly busy you are. So yes, you may be busy, but chances are you are not being nearly as productive as you should be.
Productivity is when you take that busy-ness and channel it out into a manageable “To Do” list. Don’t just sit there responding to a million emails and feeling so stressed that you can’t think straight.
Get out a piece of lined paper and a pen. Now just spend the next few minutes and write down every task that you actually need to get done by the end of the day. If you want, you can keep a long-term project list off to the side just so it gets out of your head and on to the paper. Give yourself some structure and visible organization with which to begin.
I bet if you spend some time writing an actual list, you will feel some relief. Some of that tension and stress will just fall away as you begin to see that though you may actually be busy and have plenty to do, it’s not as terrible as it sounded in your head.
Now you need to be productive. Do not get stuck in your email. Do not get roped into more, meaningless phone calls, and try to cast off pointless meetings if at all possible.
You need to spend time marking things off your “To Do” list…one by one.
I know this sounds elementary, but if you are anything like me, when the stress hits most of my reasoning skills go out the window until I can take a deep breath and step back.
Sometimes, the simplest things are the best things.
Are you going to be busy today? Or productive?