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Being Busy Does not always Mean High Work Productivity

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Now more than ever before, being busy is the norm, yet it always seems like there is more to do. Why is this, and how can you get things done while still achieving a healthy work-life balance?

In reality, many of the things that you think are helping you get things done are actually making you even busier. Office productivity actually suffers, rather than improving, when you are too busy, leaving you with more still to do every day. Here are three common busyness traps, and what you can do to take back your time.

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Multitasking

Multitasking has become more common as we've become busier. If we can do two things at once, we'll get twice as much done, right?


Well, wrong, actually. In truth, multitasking reduces your office productivity by about 40 percent. Even scarier, it also reduces your IQ and produces an addictive chemical reaction in your brain. Multitasking actually gives your brain little hits of dopamine every time you switch back and forth between tasks. After a while your brain loses the ability or desire to focus on the same thing for very long, looking instead for the relief of jumping to another task.


What to Do About It


Prioritize tasks. Multitasking is usually used as a way to knock out smaller, less important tasks. Instead, tackle the more important tasks first and give each one your full attention. A to-do list that allows you to rank the importance of your tasks will help improve your office productivity.
Set a timer. Force yourself to focus for short, highly-productive bursts by setting a timer. When the timer goes off, give yourself a short break before setting it again and getting back to work.
Interruptions

Interruptions are also causing a lot of unnecessary busyness. Phone calls, emails, and visitors at your desk all demand your time right now! And every time there's an interruption, it can take as long as 20 minutes to regain your focus on the task at hand.

What to Do About It

Schedule time for phone calls and emails. Many productivity experts suggest checking phone messages and emails at the beginning, middle, and end of the workday. Use a calendar to block off "Do Not Disturb" time during the rest of the workday.
Make notes. Keep a notepad by your keyboard, or use a note-taking app such as Evernote or Google Keep. If something tries to distract you, make a few quick notes so you won't forget to address it later, and then get right back to work.
Technology

Modern technology such as cell phones, email, and the Internet have all contributed to an expectation of people being available 24/7/365. This creates a false sense of busyness and a perception that we always have something more to do, blurring the boundaries of our work-life balance.

What to Do About It

Use a productivity app. There are plenty of apps and add-ons that will block specific websites when needed. Blocking social media during the workday will help improve office productivity, just as blocking work sites during your off hours will give you much-needed down time.
Turn it off. Don't be afraid to just to say no, and turn off your work-related technology for the evening. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance gives you time to recharge so that you can be productive again tomorrow.
Imagine a life where you are less busy and still accomplish everything that needs to be done. Sounds heavenly, doesn't it? By learning to focus on what's important and ignore the rest, this can be your new normal!

For more tips on how to stay organized at work, check out our Tips to Be More Organized with Outlook 2016.


meWritten By Kevin Gray

Hello! I am the Sales Manager and one of the Senior IT Consultants @ EnvisionIT Solutions. I help our clients envision great technology solutions that help their businesses grow.  Let me know if you have any questions. I am an avid outdoorsman who loves fly fishing and camping. I also love sports – soccer, basketball, football….