Today’s world has become so freaking crazy that people are going around bragging of how “busy” they are. What the heck? Yet, these same people haven’t accomplished anything. I’ve heard people tell me that they are too busy to workout or eat healthy. They seem to do well with their time on Facebook and otherwise similar activities.
We seem to have mixed in leisure time with work time with other time. Researchers Marybeth Mattingly and Liana Sayer did a study that was published back in 2006 showing that women were much more susceptible to this than men were. They referred to it as “contaminated time.” This was especially true of women who also had children.
Being busy should not be something to be proud of. There are many factors that have led us to this way of thinking and acting. Taking on too many tasks (which helped to spawn multitasking) is part of the problem. It’s not that we’re too busy, it’s simply that we’re inefficient. For example, multitasking is very inefficient since going from one task to another and back again takes valuable time from the accomplishment of a single task. With a couple of exceptions, multitasking uses the same area of brain. That’s like starting a car and then turning it off and starting it up again. Over and over. That is stupid, isn’t it?
Each time we switch tasks, we have to start up our brains to do another process. Multitasking makes one believe they are doing something important and are simply doing busy work. We see this with social media, emails, work on our desk, talking on the cell phone…. All at the same time. And yet, it’s not at the same time. We’re going back and forth between each task and lose a lot from each one. Some research has shown that multitasking decreases efficiency by as much as 40%!
Stop being busy and start being efficient! You can do that by following these seven tips….
- Do one thing at a time. Work on moving through as much as possible in accomplishing it (about 20 minutes) before moving on to the next task.
- Focus on no more than three tasks while working on the top of those three first. The “Rule of Three” states that efficiency drops when the brain brings in more than three processes to bear.
- Create a priority list and work from the top to the bottom.
- Set goals.
- Eliminate distractions.
- Delegate work that detracts from what you do best. You can even hire outside contractors, such as those from Fiverr.com
- Hire an assistant when necessary.
You can get better by working the right and smart way. It’s about efficiency!
Bob Choat, “Transformational Master Black Belt”
America’s #1 Mind-Body Transformation Expert and author of Mind Your Own Fitness
Mattingly, M.J. and Sayer, L.C. (2006) Under pressure: Gender differences in the relationship between free time and feeling rushed. Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol 68, PP 205-221 Retrieved electronically on March 28, 2014 from http://dtserv3.compsy.uni-jena.de/ss2011/gverglsoz_uj/23451108/content.nsf/Pages/16E32C9587DEA44CC12578710020A5C5/$FILE/Mattingly_free%20time.pdf