Stop me if you’ve heard this conversation before:
You: “Hey (friend), it’s been a while! How have you been?”
Friend: “Hi (friend), I’ve been great – super busy!”
Can someone please tell me when the American culture decided that busyness is synonymous with success? Many people will happily and proudly admit to being overworked and stressed out! Somewhere along the line, we learned that if you’re not up to your eyeballs in work, then you’re doing something wrong. However, the simple fact is; that’s simply not true. There’s a HUGE difference between being busy and being productive.
What does it mean to be busy?
Of course, accomplishing tasks is an amazing thing. But if we’re not careful, our productivity reaches a peak, and then rapidly begins to decline. As a culture, we tend to fill our lives with never-ending to-do lists, multi-tasking, and high-stress levels. But we love stress! We know that stress leads to success, so we gladly overfill our calendars and stress ourselves out because we know that success lies at the end of the road. We thrive on the idea of over-caffeinating ourselves, buckling down, and pushing ourselves to the limit. Quite literally, busyness is a drug!
What is Productivity, Anyway?
On the other hand, productivity is a bit more than looking busy. Productivity measures the actual success of your labor, which makes it much more valuable in the long-run. Productive people put a bit more thought and care into the tasks they are taking on. Maximizing productivity in your workplace can do wonders for your business’ success!
Stop Being Busy, Start Being Productive
Now that we’ve explored the differences between being busy and being productive, we can start to focus on what it means to actually become productive in our work. Here are a few tips that will help you maximize your productivity and minimize your stress!
1. Stop Multi-Tasking
Study after study has shown that multi-tasking is the biggest productivity killer of all. When you spread yourself too thin, you begin to sacrifice quality on all of your projects. There’s no such thing as a good multi-tasker. Focus on what is deserving of your immediate attention, and then devote your time to finishing that task before moving onto something else.
2. Start Saying No
Busy people love to take on new projects. The more projects, the better. Because of this mindset, busy people have a hard time saying no. The next time you are approached about taking on a new task, rather than blurting out “yes” right away, be sure to take some time to think about what this project entails. Don’t be afraid to say “Let me sleep on that.”
3. Remove Distractions
Besides multi-tasking, the second biggest productivity killer is distractions. Immediate distractions such as noises around your office space are only the beginning. Most people are also constantly fighting internal distractions like what you’re going to do after work, or worrying about other things on your to-do list. Figure out which distractions you struggle with and be intentional about removing them from your life! Only focus on one task at a time – those other tasks can wait.
4. Stay out of your emails
Checking your email every time you get the alert notification not only interrupts what you’re doing, but also forces you to change direction to another project that just appeared in your email. Instead, turn off the sound notification and only check emails after the completion of a project or no more than once every hour.
5. Don’t Do. Think.
This idea might be counter-intuitive to what you know about productivity, but the fact is: productive people take life a little slower. Rather than hurry through a task, stop and put together a plan of action that will help you complete the task not only quickly, but successfully. Have you ever been halfway through a task, only to realize that you made a mistake early on, and now you have to go back and do it all over again? People who take the time to do a job right never have to go back and start over.
Office Furniture & Productivity Specialists
At Workspace Solutions in Fort Wayne, Indiana our slogan is “We do more than sell office furniture.” We also take pride in our mission to help businesses increase productivity and efficiency. Along with selling office furniture, we also have a team of experienced office designers that can help you put together a workspace that maximizes efficiency and productivity each and every day!
Contact us today to discuss your office and learn how we can help your team increase their productivity.