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Overwhelmed? 10 ways to feel less busy

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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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.

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.

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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
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?
Niksen
Niksen

Whenever you feel stressed and on the edge of a burnout, you might as well try doing...well, nothing. 

Niksen is a term used to describe the fact of doing nothing, of taking a break f...

Idleness and its benefits

If you have any doubts in what the multiple benefits that idleness can provide you with, just note down the fact that being lazy from time to time leads to increased creativity, productivity as well as developing problem-solving skills, as it allows you to take time to see the things more clearly.

Tips to make Niksen effective

In order to keep your effectiveness high while doing nothing, you might want to consider the following tips: 

  • Find the good moments to take breaks throughout your day, in order to later be more productive.
  • Own the very fact of doing nothing.
  • Take your time getting used to doing nothing.
  • Adjust your environment so that it favors Niksen.
  • Get bored in original ways. All in all, figure out what works for you and make sure you do nothing once in a while, as it is so beneficial for your health.
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. 

Failing to Keep a To-Do List

The trick with using To-Do Lists effectively lies in prioritizing the tasks on your list. Many people use an A – F coding system (A for high priority items, F for very low priorities). 

Not Setting Personal Goals

Goals give you a destination and a vision to work toward. When you know where you want to go, you can manage your priorities, time, and resources to get there. Goals also help you decide what's worth spending your time on, and what's just a distraction.

Not Prioritizing

It's essential to learn how to prioritize tasks effectively if you want to manage your time better.

Determine if a task is high-yield and high-priority, or low-value, "fill in" work. You'll manage your time much better during the day if you know the difference.

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Checking the headlines

The news  can bring negativity: our impotence to do anything about most of what we hear can lead to a sense of hopelessness. It saps mental energy and focus.

Opting out of fo...

Toxic comparison

To break free from the temptation to compare, audit your social media feeds.

If you find yourself thinking about how your life matches up to a friend’s when you’re not on social media, try to shift your perspective. Think about their human traits, vulnerabilities, and things that you have in common. When you change your mindset, you can move from a place of jealousy to a place of empathy. 

2 types of comparisons
  • Downward comparison (comparing ourselves to those less fortunate): It activates the brain’s “lack” network, emphasizing our insecurity and focuses on safeguarding the status quo at the expense of risk and adventure.
  • Upward comparison (comparing ourselves to those we envy): it can excite feelings of envy and low self-esteem.

Both of these types of comparison can be bad for the brain

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“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.”
Lin Yutang
Busy as a default state

“‘Busy’ has become the new ‘Fine’.” 

When you ask somebody how they were doing, they used to answer, “Fine.” But nowadays, everybody answers, “Busy.”

Being busy is a choice

We are never forced into a lifestyle of busyness. 'Busy' is nothing but a decision we make.

Simply realize that our schedules are determined by us. 

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Social Comparison Theory

Psychology Today describes social comparison theory as, "... determining our own social and personal self-worth based on how we stack up against others we perceive as somehow faring better or worse...

What Others Think of Us

As a human being interacting with other human beings, we learn that how we show up in the world seems to matter. 

If we have learned through our own social experiences that certain patterns of behavior, such as being extraordinarily busy and constantly on-the-go lead to being successful, connected and accepted by others, then we may find it appealing to engage in those behaviors.

Busy vs. Productive

Merriam-Webster defines the word productive as, "Yielding results, benefits or profits." Essentially, it means that we have something to show for our hard work. 

Being busy has to do with an amount of time, where productivity has more to do with our use of time.

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Productivity and the American Dream

We are obsessed with the idea that our potential for happiness is intricately tied to our freedom to pursue wealth. We think we must work harder and longer than ...

Productivity and Effectiveness

Efficiency does not necessarily guarantee effectiveness. Getting more done is not an accurate barometer for measuring your impact. Consider whether you’re being effective in achieving what you actually want. 

Think about what it is you’re really seeking and what might be the most direct path to get it. Then realize that sometimes doing less can actually pave the path to experiencing more—more satisfaction, more ease, and even more effectiveness.

Productivity and Happiness

Research suggests that happiness leads to success, not the other way around. It would benefit us to shift our focus from achieving future happiness to accessing that joy right now.

When we wrap our days around things we have to do we leave very little time for the things we want to do. Happiness requires balance.

one more idea

Mindfulness at work
Mindfulness at work

Means being consciously present in what you’re doing, while you’re doing it, as well as managing your mental and emotional state. 

If you’re writing a report, mindfulness requires...

1 min/session

That’s the minimum required for a mini-mediation.

Just focus on your sense. You don’t need to close your eyes. You don’t even need to be sitting down.

Use Mindful Reminders

You can use interruptions as hooks to make you more mindful.

Every time your phone rings, take a mindful breath. Every time you hear the ping of a text message, pause to be mindful of your surroundings rather than immediately reacting by checking the message. 

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