Raise your hand if you feel accomplished after a busy day of work. Isn’t that the way I’m supposed to measure my productivity? I was busy today, so it must mean that my time is valuable, and I’m working to the best of my ability. Our intentions are in the right place with this thought, however, we’re standing in our own way by solely approaching our success through this measurement. We may find more success in our lives by approaching our days with the thought of “how effective can I be with my time?” rather than “I need to be busy today”.

Busyness is a quality that can hinder our success and if it gets out of control. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of employees avoiding excessive work hours. Studies show people who work extreme hours are only going to deliver a portion of their full capacity. When we try to force ourselves to be busy, we’re producing work that is below our caliber, and will not adequately represent the level of work that we are capable of. Also, taking on too many responsibilities closes the door for potential spontaneity to come your way.  Being “crazy busy” may prohibit your freedom to have new experiences.

There are steps we can take to actively move towards a productive lifestyle rather than a busy one.  The first thing to do is to set a small number of priorities rather than many items on a “to-do list”. Too many tasks become overwhelming, and the need to get them finished becomes more important than the desire to want to execute each task to it’s potential. Another way to manage your time effectively is to put serious thought into saying “yes” to everything that comes your way. Allow yourself the time to focus on the things you want to do and that you can do well, rather than doing everything all at once. To find out how busy you are, take this 10 second quiz, and share your results in the comments below!