Are You Busy and Active or Busy and Effective?

Are you Busy and Active or Busy and Effective

Do nothing which is of no use. -Miyamoto Musashi

Do you indulge in activities that cost you your creativity, productivity and the most precious time that otherwise can be used in achieving greater goals?

Are you still struggling to set your priorities straight?

How often do you find yourself on your toes throughout the day, and still by the end of the day, few important things remain uncompleted?

Or simply do you struggle with the ability to say “No” to others?

Yes or yes?

It is easy to be busy while not being aware that we’re actually spending time into activities that don’t really make our life happy, meaningful and purposeful.

Busy being busy and still not being effective, creative and productive enough to achieve your own important goals is a sure fire way to a stressful life. Your frustration and confusion level also increases. “What can I possibly do to get over this?” – you may wonder.

Let’s find out why this happens. Here is the list of possible reasons and corrective actions to deal with this busyness business.

1. No Clear Goal or Plan of Actions

Goals give us direction and planning acts as a guiding compass.

If we don’t set clear goals for the day, we’re most likely to end up executing someone else’s plan helping them to achieve their goals.

Check on yourself. Do you start your day with a clear idea of what you accomplish by the end of this day?

Corrective Action:

  • Make the list of three MIT (most important tasks) the night before. These are your prime goals.
  • Every day your first priority is to complete these goals as soon as you can.

2. Getting Sucked into the Social Media

Social media is too much of a habit to “just check” and then get sucked into the black hall of information overload.

Your precious time is taken up by mindless scrolling of Facebook, looking at random people’s pictures and reading their messages, and even updating your own status with every small activities you are doing throughout the day, forwarding so many videos and links? Soon before your realize, this becomes your addiction.

You search some music of your interest on YouTube, and end up watching couple of more suggested videos related to your interest. By the time you realize your mistake, a lot of time is already wasted.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, What’s app – they all help you maintain your omnipresence at the cost of your precious time and worthy goals.

Ever thought why you need to use all social media platforms? Which purpose does it solve? Social media only keep you busy, and add no meaning to your time?

Corrective Action:

  • Use your favorite social media to do only profitable activities.
  • Restrict to use one or two social media at the most. The more is not always merrier.
  • Don’t treat social media as a tool of maintaining your relationships with your dear ones. For that, you better pick up the phone and talk to them. It takes less time and you both will feel good hearing each other’s voice.

3. Checking Messages on Phone Too Often

Your cell phone delivers e-mails, text messages or social media updates almost instantly, and hence becomes a solid weapon of distractions. It’s not uncommon to find people who have this habit of grabbing their mobile device as soon as they open their eyes in the morning.

Let’s do one exercise. Keep one paper and pencil handy, and start tracking down the number of times you pull out your device. Note down how often you do this, how much time you spend each time when you look at the mobile screen – record everything. Do this exercise for one day, and you will clearly see your addiction for the device.

Apparently this is a habit, not a necessity. A bad habit in fact. A total time waster.

Corrective Action:

  • Check all your messages before you start working on an important task. After that turn off your device or keep it on airplane mode for at least an hour or two.
  • If any temptation arises in your mind to check the messages, simply remind yourself, that you just have checked your phone few minutes before, and there is no need to check it now. A simple reminder will bring your focus back to the work that you are doing.

4. No Delegation or Deletion of Recurring Tasks.

Any idea how many things in a day you’re doing that are of a repetitive nature or tasks that can easily be done by someone else?

Just because you “can” fix that door, doesn’t mean you have to do it – call the carpenter please.

Yes this happens. We simply keep doing things that are of repetitive nature or tasks that do not align with our goals.

Corrective Action:

Simply delegate or delete these things from your to-do list, and save yourself some precious time that can be better utilized for a greater purposes.

5. No Accountability for Your Activities.

It’s always easier to get off the track when it comes to work for our goals, especially when no one watching over us. How can we be more accountable for our actions? The answer is in having an accountability buddy.

An accountability partner is someone with whom you set specific time on a specific day in a week to meet and discuss your progress. Your partner will ask you following questions:

  • What were your goals?
  • What did you do to achieve them?
  • Did you achieve them? If yes, he will congratulate and motivate you.
  • If you did not achieve them, he will ask you – why?
  • What are the obstacles you have or what support you need to achieve your goal next time? And he will help you figure out how you can get that support.

Corrective Action:

Join some mastermind group or find an accountability partner, it can be your spouse, friend, peer, or online mentor. This will leverage your efforts and will help you to remain focused on taking necessary actions on your goals.

6. Not Recharging Yourself

You are always worried about recharging your cell phone but not yourself. True or true?

You always keep one extra charger, and the moment your cell phone throws warning message on screen saying “battery is low” you literally run searching for a power outlet to hook up your phone. You always want your phone fully charged and ready to serve you for a longer times.

Unfortunately, your body or mind also run out energies but cannot give such warning signal that they are tired and need rest, nap or a small break. We keep on going without really unplugging ourselves or recharging ourselves.

It’s not uncommon to see people wasting time on watching Netflix or TV at night, and not finding time to cook healthy food for themselves or for family. They end up putting junk into their mouth day in and day out. Ultimately, one day your body gives up on you, and you wake up suddenly, but it’s already late.

Don’t do it to yourself. To take care of your loved ones, first you need to be take care of yourself.  You are important. Put your health always on the top of your priority list, not at the bottom. Care for your health and happiness.

Corrective Action:

  • While working do not forget to take frequent breaks during the day.
  • Every day spend some time in the nature.
  • Have at least a good 8 hour sleep.
  • Include meditation, yoga, stretch, and some physical exercise in your daily routine.
  • Have green smoothies and fresh juice into your daily food intake to energize you.
  • Go for a walk with family or friends – and leave your mobile device at home.

7. Not Being Able to Say “No”

Sometime we take up so much volunteer work, and we can not say “No”  to others, even if our plate is full. This results in working like a mad person and feeling unsuccessful for not completing it all. Again, because of that you don’t have now time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. What’s the point of keep doing this?

Learn to say “No”. If you need to know few creative ways to say “No”, Read this.

Living a day full of activities while not giving yourself the freedom you desire, and not being able to do the work that is important and helpful to bring your success, isn’t exactly motivating. that means something that you are doing, is wrong.

So here is a Find Your Five challenge:

  1. Find your five things that you have done over past week, that you probably shouldn’t have.
  2. Find your five repetitive tasks that makes you busy at the cost of being productive. Either delegate them or completely delete them.
  3. Find  your five unfavorite things that takes up your time without adding any value into it. Simply stop doing them.

Repeat this exercise every week for at least a month and notice how effectively you have started living your life. Comment below if you find this article useful. And yes, don’t forget to share it on your facebook or with your friends and families.

Have fun.
Bharat Jhala

(Image Credit: William Iven)


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