“Busyness” often initiates as a lack of focus. Our culture has been seduced into thinking that we can achieve anything if we try harder and work longer.
Besides, good jobs are overwhelming. Many company cultures count on employees to compartmentalize their lives and prioritize work over all else. Managers expect that employees become what sociologists have identified as “ideal workers”: folks who are entirely dedicated to their jobs and are always on call, sometimes at great expense to their personal life. Such dedication is detrimental not just to employee wellbeing but also to the bottom line.
Being productive requires acknowledging that you can’t work for extended periods and maintain a high-performance level.
You’re more likely to find breakthrough ideas when you temporarily remove yourself from the grind. The best solutions uncover themselves when you step into the shower, go for a run, have lunch away from your desk, or set off on holiday.
- Up the Good Stuff. To feel less burned-out, do a little more of the things you love and a smidgen less drudge work.
- Seek Breathing Room. That’s a metaphor for space to catch up with yourself, regroup, think over whatever’s happening, and know how you feel and what to do next.
- Thwart Decision Fatigue. You have a limited capacity for concentrating over extended periods. You can restore your executive function and overcome mental fatigue through interventions—short rest, engaging in creative purists, and increasing the body’s glucose levels.
Idea for Impact: If you want to get more done, start taking breaks. Busyness is very different from effectiveness.