No. Busy work does not help your productivity. In reality, busy work prevents us from being productive. We are all guilty of finding ways to avoid doing a project or task we are not excited about doing. Busy work is a form of procrastination. Pushing that important project down to the wire. Cleaning behind the fridge is normally less than inspiring, but it doesn’t sound half-bad when the other option is doing your taxes. It’s important to be aware of when you’re avoiding your real work for busy work.
Busy gives the false impression that you’re being productive. We can feel pretty good about doing busy work. We’re active and feel like we’re accomplishing something. No one can say that cleaning out your desk drawers is a completely useless activity. However, it’s not a pressing activity. It’s probably not the absolute best use of your time at that moment. Ultimately, busy work prevents real progress from happening. You might be active, but you’re not effective. Using your time wisely is the key to success and progress.
Consider these examples of busy work:
- Deleting old emails
- Unplanned house cleaning
- Learning when you should be doing
- Organizing files
- Checking social media
Tips to accomplish more today:
- Plan your day. Take five minutes at the beginning of your day to create a list of projects that you want to accomplish. Then prioritize your list. This allows you to start your day with a plan. When you start to get distracted refer back to your list to keep you on track.
- Take Breaks. Take a 5-minute break every hour. This allows you to step back, clear your mind, check social media, and recharge. When you get back to work, you are refocused, less stressed, and allows you to review your work before proceeding.
- Get started early. Mornings are the majority of peoples most productive time of the day. Use that to your advantage and get those important projects done during your most productive time of day. Do administrative tasks in the afternoon during your less productive time.
Before beginning any task, ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time at this moment?” Asking that question and allowing yourself to be guided by the answer is the solution to avoiding busy work. It can be that simple. Busy work will waste your time and keep the achievement of your goals off in the distant future. Take control of your day by keeping busy work at bay. You already know what you should be doing. The key is just doing it.
If you would like help implementing these strategies, please reach out.