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How to get more out of your day when you seem to be always busy

Updated: Dec 1, 2021


Have you noticed how ‘I’m busy’ is the new ‘I’m fine’?


Don’t worry. You are not alone and frankly being busy can be great for your mental health.


As long as you are keeping yourself busy doing things that really matter to you. Chasing after a number of shiny objects, spreading your focus thin, and not finding the time to do tasks you planned to do will, of course, have the opposite effects on your mental health.


In today’s blog post I invite you to challenge your view on busy and its glorification. Why? Because being busy for the sake of glorifying how busy you are will not only leave you without having time for anything in your life but can also make you feel like you have no control over your day. In addition, I created this downloadable 5 planning strategies to manage your time better so you can achieve more and feel in control of your day cheat sheet for you so you can have time in your day to get to do things you planned to do!




So, anyway, how busy are you?


Why are you busy?

I like keeping myself busy, but I believe that being busy is a balancing act. I no longer subscribe to the glorification of busyness and quite frankly I don’t feel the need for it anymore.


But I get it. Being busy is very trendy. Why do I say trendy? We live in a productivity obsessed age where it is expected from us that we are busy. But are you busy getting things done and moving forward on your plans? Or are you busy because you keep adding more things to your day, without staying focused?


I remember days when I stayed busy because I thought that the busier I am the more things I got to accomplish. But only because I was busy, it didn’t mean I was productive. Or that I used my time wisely.


Neuroscience shows that our brains can only sustain focus for 90 minutes. After that, no matter if we take a break or not, our brains do. This means that we need to make the most out of our time when we are in the highest state of creativity.


If you find yourself feeling like there is never enough time to do all you need to do or you are a little bit dissatisfied with the results you are getting, it is time to have a look at what are you getting done.



Busy vs productive

I no longer view being busy as a measure of what gets done. There is a distinctive difference between busy and productive. Only because you are busy and run from place to place does not mean you are productive. Getting involved and micromanaging every aspect of a project will definitely require time, but is it time well spent?


You see, the biggest daily stressor is time. We complain about lack of time all the time, yet we keep adding more things rather than re-examining how to use our time more efficiently.


The true question here is if your busyness contributes to your productivity? Because if you look back at your day and feel like you didn’t accomplish anything, but you are out of breath then shifting your focus may be the way to go.


Being busy can easily make us feel overwhelmed. When we can’t stay focussed on one task at hand, we may be getting ahead of our schedule just to find out that we spent all this time pursuing something which didn’t need to be pursued in the first place.


I find that if I don’t have a clear plan for the day and if I don’t narrow my focus then I definitely get busy but won’t be as productive as I could be if I paid more attention to what the next step should be.


There is a reason, why one of the most effective tools to handle our mindset is a distraction. At the beginning of the post, I mentioned that keeping busy can be good for our mental health. Quite often when we are faced with challenging times, keeping occupied is the thing that can get us through the day. Staying busy is used as a distraction from the current situation. In a way, being busy gives us relief from what has happened.


So, how to check if your busy is productive? Here are 3 tips:


1. Narrow your focus – if you feel that you don’t have control over your day, but you always seem busy, try to keep focus on one thing at a time. Spreading yourself thin will make you feel busy, but not productive.


2. Will this action move me forward? – all tasks require time and energy, but not all tasks bring us the needed results. So before going on a hunt, ask yourself what results you want to get and if the action you are about to undertake gets you closer to it? If not, then don’t give it much, or any time.


3. Be realistic – We need to be realistic about our abilities, capabilities, what can be accomplished and we need to be able to match with the time we have got. Understanding that certain tasks take more time than others, is key in planning your day and being productive rather than busy (Nevertheless, this is probably where I’m struggling the most!)


Conclusion

With the constant demands on our time, it is easy to be busy. I personally like keeping myself busy. But I don’t subscribe to the glorification of busy for the sake of being busy. I want to see the results of my work, so at the end of the day, I can say that I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish rather than having another disappointing feeling of getting my day slipped from under me.


Keeping busy can have positive effects on our mental health, especially if it is used as a relief from the troubled times we have experienced.


But if you keep busy and feel overwhelmed, I invite you to shift your focus and see if you are putting all your attention where it should go.


Being truly productive means assessing each task and asking yourself if it will move you forward towards the result you want to get. Otherwise, it can be a wild goose chase.


The hardest thing to grasp can be that things just take time. But allowing enough time to complete that task or project, can be the difference between busy and productive.


And wouldn’t you rather be productive and get more out of your day instead of being busy?


To be productive, you need to have the time, so grab your free downloadable 5 planning strategies to manage your time better so you can achieve more and feel in control of your day cheat sheet!


Having problems with managing your stress? Go on: www.annadoktor.com.au to find out more about Anna Doktor Wellness Coaching and how I can help you to beat the overwhelm once and for all. Alternatively, send me an email at anna@annadoktor.com.au or call to have a chat to see how we can work together tel: 0498016440.



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