“It is easy to confuse being busy with being productive.” -Tim Ferriss
If you are like me, then if you ever have a day when you get nothing done, then you feel like hell. And if you are like me, then you give yourself busy work to make yourself feel productive, “work” such as; checking email, searching stuff in the internet, browsing random websites, fidgeting, and other random seat adjustments.
And the problem with this behavior is that we waste time on the ineffective tasks instead of the effective ones. And on the days we have something very important to do, we often do these meaningless “busy” tasks in order to push what we need to do aside. Maybe the task we need to do is too daunting, then we satisfy that “you have to do something!” mind, by doing something that is useless.
I have realized that I need to catch myself before doing the “busy work”. And here are some things that I do to help combat my bad habit.
- I carry around a planner, and fill it with things that I actually need to do.
- I have a habit to wake up early(around 5:30 am), and crack at those important things without interruption.
The important part of the to-do list is not that you have a list of what you need to do, but that you have a list that will give you insight into what is important. Within your list, there should be 1 or 2 items that are the most important, and getting them done will either delete other items, or make them infinitely easier. Focus on those first. They should be the first things that you do.
Now go to work, and don’t be busy, be effective.