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Overwhelmed? 10 ways to feel less busy

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.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Overwhelmed? 10 ways to feel less busy

Overwhelmed? 10 ways to feel less busy

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/26/overwhelmed-10-ways-feel-less-busy

theguardian.com

11

Key Ideas

Busy Being Busy

We are far too busy in ways not imagined before, though productivity hasn't increased proportionally. Studies show we have more leisure time than before but have become overwhelmed with an infinite number of options.

Reclaim your time and your sanity instead of being busy all the time.

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.

Strategic Incompetence

At your workplace, if it is accepted by you and declared to your peers that you are not good at doing a certain job or task, you will not be assigned that type of job. This way you can be less busy doing mundane time-consuming work.

Build Buffers in Time Allocations

A task normally takes longer than the time allotted, so it is a good idea to allow buffer time around tasks so that any unexpected work or meeting does not delay the planned completion time.

Pre-crastination

Doing tasks too early, the opposite of procrastination is also a cause of being avoidably busy.

We end up doing trivial tasks that are not required or not that urgent, at the expense of our real work.

Don't Hoard Your Time

We normally safeguard and 'hoard' our limited time.

If you feel you have no time, just do something opposite: give away some time, so that you can feel its abundance.

Work Creates More Work

Some work (like answering all your emails to clear your inbox) creates more work, and while completing that work may seem like being productive, it is, in fact, adding to your workload by generating further tasks.

Slow Down

We live in an urgency-addicted world, fueled by technology.

While it may seem counterintuitive, it is a good idea to slow down during pressing urgencies.

Limit Your To-Dos

Just have a 5 item limit on your daily to-do list instead of an endless and overwhelming list of work to be done, staring at you all day.

Being "Very Busy"

To keep complaining to others about how busy you are is useless and it makes others anxious around you.
It also shows you may not be really busy otherwise you would be working instead of talking about the work you have to do.

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Chronic busyness

Being chronically busy can become a badge of honor. It makes you feel important.

It can also hurt your health. The long hours, stress and lack of relaxation time can result in insomnia...

Addicted to chronic busyness
  • How would you describe your days? Would you call them hectic, chaotic, consumed in activities?
  • How does being busy make you feel? Do you enjoy the excitement of going from one activity to another throughout the day?
  • Do you take fewer vacation days than you’re given or even skip vacation time altogether (like Tom)?
  • What activities do you normally do when you’re not at work? Do you rarely take time to sit, relax and read a book or magazine for fun?
  • Are your friends and family weary of hearing how busy you are? Have you ever seen someone roll their eyes when you talk about how busy you are?
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.

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.
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. 

Recharge yourself physically
  • Take a warm bath. Try using Epsom salt in your bath. 
  • Use an exfoliating scrub to help recharge your body by improving blood circulation.
  • Change your diet...
Recharge mentally
  • Make a list of your accomplishments
  • Let go of past mistakes
  • Do something fun
  • Take breaks from things and people that bring you down
  • Spend time with close friends and family
  • Meditate or pray
  • Avoid multitasking
  • Take a break from technology
  • Do something artsy
  • Write in a journal
Why people feel drained

Most likely, exhaustion is linked to:

  • too much or too little physical activity
  • jetlag or something else that confuses your circadian rhythm
  • insomnia or lack of sleep
  • medications such as antihistamines and cough medicine
  • poor eating habits
  • stress
  • trauma
  • drug or alcohol use