There is a subtle but important difference between being busy and productive.
Here are four tips that can help you focus on being productive, healthy and happy, instead of being busy.
Schedule focus time
Tackle your most challenging tasks at the time of day when you are most productive – morning, afternoon, or evening. Save the less daunting tasks for when you know you will not be as productive. Schedule this “focus time” in your calendar so that those who need you know that you will not be available during that time.
Give yourself a break
Taking a mental break is equally as important as scheduling focus time. Stand up and do some stretches, go for a 10-minute walk, or listen to music. You will come back to your work feeling energized and refreshed. Try not to multitask during your breaks – treat mental breaks as a necessity, not a luxury.
Turn your to-do list into a ta-da list
Rather than fretting over the things you must do, create a ‘ta-da’ list instead to celebrate the things you have already accomplished. Focusing on your accomplishments rather than your tasks can help you feel more productive and motivated. Prefer a to-do list? Then keep it short and focus on what is most important.
Know when to ask for help
Multitasking is the hallmark of a ‘busy’ person, but not necessarily a productive one. Next time you feel overwhelmed, try outsourcing, or better yet, ask for help on projects you physically or mentally do not have time for.