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How to stop being always busy

Being always busy

Does it seem you are always busy and still achieve nothing much? Do you wish you could just stop being busy and enjoy life more? Are you missing all those beautiful and joyous moments of life simply because you’re always caught up with one thing or another?

Being busy is nothing but a state of mind. People who are actually productive rarely complain about being too busy. Yes, you are busy if you are conducting an open-heart surgery or trying to stop a plane from crashing, but in most of the cases, if you manage your work, you can have plenty of free time for yourself and your family.

Here are a few things you can do to

Stop being always busy

  • Create a task list. It’s easier to do things if you know what all you have to do. When you don’t have a task list sometimes you go on doing things you don’t have to do and you end up skipping things that should have been done, creating backlogs. Use a simple notepad. There are many online tools like Tadalist and Remember The Milk that help you create and maintain task lists.
  • Do difficult things first. We normally avoid difficult tasks and keep spending time on things that don’t need much effort. As a result, we’re really hard pressed for time by the time we get to the difficult parts. Since we’re not mentally relaxed and we’re running short of time, we cannot work in a relaxed manner…and so on. Postponing difficult tasks is the sure-shot way of being perpetually busy.
  • Divide bigger goals into shorter ones. Bigger goals always seem daunting. Although we should always focus on the bigger goals, all bigger goals are made up of smaller achievements. Draw out a plan and allocated justifiable time to each smaller goal. For example, if you think by next Wednesday you’ll accomplish goal “D”, don’t jump onto working on goal “E” if you complete goal “D” early in the morning on Wednesday (unless it’s critical). This way you know you are making a progress and still you have a complete day to yourself.
  • Don’t over commit. Take as much as you can do. Learn from experience. Even if you’ve been doing something for a few months you know how much you can handle in a given amount of time. Whether it’s household chores or some project work, never over commit.
  • Learn to say ‘no’. Sometimes we just can’t say no. We keep accepting more and more work out of politeness, love or monitory compulsions and soon we’re busy doing work and nothing else. Communicate to people around you that you too have a life that’s beyond work.
  • Don’t get caught up in the rat race. Rat race is a bad thing and on top of that, once you get caught up in the rat race, it’s very difficult to get out. Your colleague is aiming for the next managerial post? You want that post too? Are you motivated by the desire of your colleague or you can really benefit from getting that post? Sometimes we desire things simply because people around us desire them. Focus on what’s good for you and your loved ones, not what the others want.
  • Shun excessive materialism. The same goes for materialism. Once you get trapped in the circle of want you cannot stop. Really want that iPad because the cool kid next door has got it? Do you know after a few months the same iPad will belong to obsolete technology? Your colleague has a Mercedes Benz and a big plasma TV? Big deal! Does he have enough time and mental space to enjoy his car and TV? Excessive materialism keeps you needlessly busy because you’re always chasing the next cool thing, and by the time you have got, you’re preparing to chase the next one. This way you never run out of things to chase. And you’re always running out of time.
  • Set time-limits. Don’t work beyond a certain time, not matter what it is. Set a limit and stick to it. If you’ve decided you won’t work after 6 PM then stop immediately, and follow this deadline religiously. If you don’t want people to call during weekends then don’t accept calls during weekends. You can keep separate phones for your business and personal use.
  • Re-think your priorities. What are your real priorities in life? Are you losing more in order to gain less? Are you earning money at the cost of your health and your family? What do you really want out of your life? Sit down and write it down. This will really help you re-prioritize your schedule and hep you get less busy.

How to do you avoid being excessively busy? Share your thoughts on the comments section.