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Why you feel busy all the time (when you're actually not)

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160909-why-you-feel-busy-all-the-time-when-youre-actually-not

bbc.com

Why you feel busy all the time (when you're actually not)
Few facts about modern life seem more indisputable than how busy everyone seems to be. Across the industrialised world, large numbers of survey respondents tell researchers they're overburdened with work, at the expense of time with family and friends.

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Busyness is a myth

Busyness is a myth

Although people feel much busier with work these days, the total time people are working – whether paid or otherwise – has not increased in Europe or North America in recent decades.

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The illusion of busyness is caused by:

The illusion of busyness is caused by:
  • Economies grow and time is more valuable: Any given hour is worth more, so we experience more pressure to squeeze in more work.
  • The type of work we do has changed: We live in an “infinite world" - more incoming emails, meetings, things to read, more ideas to follow up – and digital technology means you can easily crank through them. The result, inevitably, is feeling overwhelmed.

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Busyness has become the indicator of status

Busyness has become the indicator of status

Though historically, the ultimate symbol of wealth, achievement and social superiority was the freedom not to work. Now we measure our worth not by the results we achieve, but by how much of our time we spend doing things. 

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Accept Defeat

Time and resources are limited but 'everything that is to be done' is always unlimited, so there is bound to be a compromise, a trade-off.

Something will always be neglected or deprioritized, no matter what you do.

Respect your rhythms and body clocks

Humans are not a machine or a piece of equipment, that can be made to work overtime and show more productivity.

We don't work like a machine, and working more hours does not mean more actual work. If we respect our body clock and work with it, we can be more productive.

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Motivation and creative work

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Elements of intrinsic motivation

The 3 elements required for intrinsic motivation:

  • Autonomy: it's about choice - when you believe you have a choice, you're more motivated.
  • Mastery: it's about wanting to get better at something that matters.
  • Purpose: it comes from believing you're working on something that's bigger than yourself.

Knowing our work helps others

When we know that our work will make a difference to someone else, it makes us work harder. 

Try to reach out to the people who directly benefit from your work. This could boost your motivation to work hard.

The Busyness Delusion

The Busyness Delusion

Many people think they work more hours than they actually do, leading to a mistaken belief that they are busier than they really are, something called the busyness delusion.

How To Modify Your Time Perception

You can increase the time perception by:

  1. Tracking your time: Use an app or a diary to track all your activities, keeping a secret but totally honest record of your time and figuring out the time leaks.
  2. Creating a schedule: Place meters on the time leaks found using the tracked time data and create a schedule that is tailored to your lifestyle.

People having a high perception of time have a ‘cockpit’ view of their time schedule and are able to set aside more time for leisure, and to be able to contemplate and reflect.

Use Your Schedule In Your Favour

Similar to a financial plan or a budget, the time schedule is not to restrict one’s day, but to support and enhance productivity during the day while ensuring there is ample time for the other areas of life.