Are You Just Busy or Productive at Work?

June 28, 20168:20 am599 views

Putting in extra hours at work, and rushing around to meet a tight deadline is often seen as a badge of honour, and professionals are often quick to tell others just how hectic their lives are. However Eventit Pty believes this need to change and is adamant that there is a big difference between being busy and being productive.

In fact, Busyness can lead to stress and puts professionals under extreme pressure which creates the wrong mental state for productivity. Feeling rushed can cause a professional to produce low quality work and become less concerned with the task at hand and more focused on the time frame in which they have to do it in.

Putting in extra hours can also cause fatigue which impairs cognitive functions, leading to poor decision making and an inability to act appropriately when faced with an unforeseen challenge.  There is great difference between being busy and productive. Some people are great at making themselves look busy while actually getting nothing done.

Here are some crucial differences HR managers should notice between the “busy” and “productive people” at work:

  • Busy people want to look like they have a mission. Productive people have a mission for their lives – By offering spectators a confident insight into their little ventures can demonstrate a lack of clarity on the final destination. Alternatively, those with a clear focus are confident showing their uncertainty on the journey.
  • Busy people have many priorities. Productive people have few priorities – Productive people are proactive and restrict their priorities to no more than three at a time.
  • Busy people say yes quickly. Productive people say yes slowly – Productive people are able to have confidence in turning down opportunities that are not aligned with their values or goals.
  • Busy people focus on action. Productive people focus on clarity before action – It is important to fully assess a project or task prior to accepting. Productive people often dissect their day and keep a journal regarding what worked for them vs. what didn’t.
  • Busy people keep all doors open. Productive people close doors – By fine tuning goals and allowing focus to be laid on a priority there is a greater probability of the goal being achieved.
  • Busy people talk about how busy they are. Productive people let their results do the talking – Busy people tend to self-promote whereas a productive person showcases their efforts through results.
  • Busy people talk about how little time they have. Productive people make time for what is important. They are skilled in prioritising, and are confident in ignoring tasks that don’t benefit their values.
  • Busy people multitask. Productive people focus – Productive people are able to detach themselves from distractions. They understand the impact on productivity if they try and juggle too much all at once.

See: What Can Companies Do to Hire Top Talent and Create Agile Productive Teams?

To be truly productive, professionals need to open their eyes to the damaging effects of being busy. The firm is further concerned that much of this ‘busyness’ is caused by a desire to strike up a positive work life balance, and that juggling commitments can cause people to put unnecessary pressure on themselves.

To help people accept that there will be times when one area of life demands more of their attention, and to help them become more productive rather than just busy here is some professional advice:

  • Delegate

For business professionals, delegation can be a difficult thing to come to terms with. Everyone has their own preferred way of doing things and handing over control to someone else can cause people to worry that the quality of work will drop.

However, by handing over the tasks they don’t enjoy or feel could benefit from greater expertise can free up more time for professionals to do what they do enjoy. This will ultimately improve the quality of these enjoyable tasks and help a professional rediscover their zest for business.

  • Clear Your Mind

Every morning professionals should write down all the things swirling round their mind, and cross out anything unimportant or trivial. Then, by prioritising the remaining thoughts and tasks they can begin to create a focused plan for the day and avoid falling into the ‘busyness’ trap.

  • Schedule Down Time

If a professional doesn’t do this, they are likely to overlook their need for relaxation and burn out. Whatever may be going on personally and professionally this time should be non-negotiable.

  • Ban the ‘B’ Word

Refuse to use the word ‘busy’ can drastically alter how a professional thinks and will encourage them to evaluate the real reasons behind their feelings of stress and identify positive ways forward.

Also read: Working Less? Then You’re More Productive

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