Have you witnessed yourself saying things like “I don’t have time”, “I am busy” or “I wish I had more time”? Do you wonder where your time goes? You are always occupied, however, all your work is never completed at the end of the day. Sounds familiar? Your sense of busyness gives you an illusion of productivity.
With the advent of the Internet and technological advancements, people’s attention is getting shorter. People tend to forget what is essential. Life has become a lot busier in a technology-enabled world.
The advancement in information technology hasn’t bridged the communication gap at personal levels. People have become so busy that they don’t get time to connect with family and friends. People’s energies are drained by the evening on a typical workday. Everyone wishes to have more than 24 hours so that they could achieve more.
The time running pretty fast has become a common phenomenon. Countless hours seem to pass by in a moment with the smartphone in the hand. Amidst a routine busy day, scrolling through social media posts inadvertently adds to the busyness of the day.
Being busy doesn’t mean achieving the desired results. Many times people associate being busy with being productive. You can be busy the whole day, however, you would accomplish very little. You believe that you are working hard as you are invariably occupied. The illusion of productivity starts from early morning and continues until late at night. The mundane busy day gives you a false sense of progress, even without producing much.
In a technology-enabled world with constant notifications, it has become pretty easy to get distracted. In the middle of work, you get notifications on your smartphone. Your workflow gets broken when you pick your phone to view those random messages or posts.
Online news and social media wasting your precious time everyday go entirely unnoticed. Your typical day gives you the illusion that you are busy the whole day doing productive work.
How to increase productivity and reduce busyness:
Set the goal for the day
Setting up the goals for the day helps you focus on what is important and cut down on the nonessentials. Starting your day with goals in mind keeps you focused until you are done.
Break down the problems
Sometimes, the large or time-consuming task leads to procrastination. Break down the large problem into small actionable items that can be taken up in a phased manner. It gives you an estimate of how much time you are going to need to complete each item.
Find your productive time of the day
People are different, so are their routines. Some people are productive in the morning, while others are on the night. Find your productive hours of the day and try to get the most done during that time.
Complete your tasks within stipulated time
Work items should be time-bound. Sit for a minimum of 2-3 hours and complete the important task. Don’t leave the work halfway for anything else.
Solve problems with concentration
Attention is the limited resource. Avoid all distractions. Turn off the internet before you sit down for the important work. Don’t touch your phone before you get completed.
Be result-oriented, not time-oriented
Measure your productivity in terms of work items you have completed for the day, not how long you have worked. Focus on the results achieved, not the time gone by.
Prioritize your work
You can not do everything from your list of works to be done. Start saying “no” to many things that waste your time and energy. With the prioritization of tasks, you can utilize the saved time to spend on other important things like spending time with family or pursuing your hobby.
Schedule your social media time
Scheduling your social media time helps you keep your over-consumption in check. Make a habit to use social media at a particular time for a certain duration. Unchecked and unscheduled social media usage consumes a whole lot of your precious time.
The illusion of productivity can influence several aspects of your life. Appearing busy the whole day gives you an excuse to ignore your health, family, and friends. Sometimes not being able to do something doesn’t mean you lack time, it means that work is not your priority or interest. Not finding time is often an excuse you give to yourself or others. If you are interested, you will find time to do something.
Most of your busyness is self-inflicted, and you have chosen this lifestyle voluntarily. You take pride in being busy. It gives you a feeling of being an important person with so much on your plate. After all, who likes the person who is always available and has nothing to do? You believe that your busyness is the demonstration of how successful you are. Many times you are busy to appear significant and needed.
The state of being busy all-time sabotages your real productivity. You never realize that your illusion of busyness transforms into an addiction. You tend to avoid real interaction with the people around you. You are deeply immersed in your daily work routine that you have become hooked to this lifestyle.
Incessant busyness drains your energy. You spend time unnecessarily in the unproductive work and virtual world. When you start prioritizing, you will end up saving a lot of time, which can be leveraged for other important things like exercise or meditation instead, that you mostly avoid in the name of being busy.
24 hours a day is the norm for everybody. Your productivity of the day depends on how you optimize your time. For instance, while you are commuting for work, you can listen to the podcasts or can call your family and friends which you don’t find time for, otherwise.
Count your productive hours, not the whole day. Educate yourself on atomic productivity. Focus on what matters and unclutter the unimportant that eat up your time. Recognize that a lot of busyness is mechanical and unsolicited. Embracing the minimalistic approach can save you a lot of energy.
Nowadays, you don’t need time to become productive, you need undivided attention and energy instead. With full concentration and energy, you can get more things done in a few hours alone that you achieve on a whole day !!