When did being busy become the new measure of success?
How many times you heard someone says 'I'm so busy', yet you couldn't stop but thinking, what are they so busy with???
Feeling busy makes someone feel successful and accomplished while giving others the impression that that person is indeed successful....more so, they might even envy them.
In the same token when we are not as busy we start to think less of our success or worst.... of ourselves.
But is that a good form of measure?
According to recent productivity research, out of 38 countries that were researched by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Mexico was found to be the least productive country out of the 38 countries that were researched even though it has the longest average workweek (41.5 hours), while on the other end of that list Luxembourg was found to be the most productive country with an average of 25% less workweek (just 29 hours).
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being busy.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting long hours and lots of effort into something that you are passionate about and that you believe in.
However, long working hours doesn't necessarily mean great productivity, and productivity is what you should be concerned about.
Managing your time right and more importantly, setting up the right priorities in your life is a key point for maximizing your productivity.
Starting your own business, especially if you still hold a full time job and/or have a family is not an easy task by any means.
It's a commitment, no doubt about that.
But it is doable to do it all while still building a successful business and enjoying quality time outside of work.
In fact, that last part, enjoying quality time outside of work has a major impact on your productivity in work.
So, here are 3 things I would recommend in order to increase your productivity during your "busy" time:
- Look back at this last week and count how many hours you spent working and what did you accomplish in these hours. If you feel that you were not as productive than make a plan for next week. Put together a to do list for the week and than block on your calendar a time and day to get each of these tasks done. The important part here is to stick to the plan, so be realistic and don't shoot yourself in the foot with over shooting your goals, the important part here is to create a pattern that you can follow going forward.
- Look back at this last week and measure how much quality time you had for yourself, for the things that you like to do and that are not related to work. You see, the last time I checked we are al humans, not robots, and as humans we live inside a body that needs to be nurtured. If we over work it, it will crash and something will have to give. As a result we either become less productive or worst that that get sick. So, believe it or not, taking care of yourself is the NUMBER ONE priority, even more then your business.
- Build a general daily/weekly schedule template for your self to follow on a regular basis. The biggest reason for bad time management is not having a plan, because then we end up reacting to whatever comes our way that day and as a result we end up with a longer to do list and less accomplishments/wins under our belt. For example: I have a general time blocked for certain activities that I need to do during the date/week re: responding to emails, taking calls, taking meetings, working-out etc. Having that makes it easier for me to plan my days and more so get things done.
Increasing your work productivity and managing your time more efficiently usually start with having a plan and knowing what are the priorities and the steps to take.
Btw, Having a plan doesn't mean that you can't be spontaneous. If something comes up that needs to be addressed or you just feel like taking time for yourself than by all means go for it. Once you are done go back to the plan.
Need help with that? Let the experts guide through this.