Right now, our world is dominated by minute-to-minute tasks. Our attention spans are being spread thinner than ever as we’re inundated with information. We were all already multitaskers before 2020, but the pandemic exacerbated the trend of being always plugged in.
Being Busy for Busy’s Sake
On that note, let’s look at “busy culture.”
Across the board, people have normalized being constantly busy. From my observations, it’s the way that people are coping with the fact that they’re always responsible for something. Whether it’s responding to that email from a colleague at 11 p.m. or keeping up with social media, we’re all caught in the social-professional flux.
But what’s the way out? Can we escape this mania?
Moving Towards Productivity
I’m not sure about every area of your life, but there’s one tip that can be applied to help break you out of busy culture’s toxic cycle.
When people are living to be “busy,” they’re likely navigating without guidance and wasting their fuel. Instead, we should all strive for accomplishments. Being proficient is more important than being busy. Our workflows should strive for optimum productivity, not to spend hours on end looking busy. The more I compartmentalize my busy work to make time for creativity — the more fun I have and a better outcome appears.
3 Tips for Overcoming Busy Culture
Here are a few tips to help you beat busy culture and transition into a model that’s task-oriented.
Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
One culprit of busy culture is everyone’s proclivity to stay comfortable.
It’s natural to lean towards the easy and avoid the challenging. Instead of pushing off your bigger tasks in exchange for small ones, do the things that are harder first. Once they’re done, you won’t have stress hanging over your head. The sense of accomplishment you’ll have after tackling your biggest challenge is far better than the feeling of being “busy” all day.
It’s easy to spend the majority of a workday staying distracted with the tasks that we’re comfortable with. But, this isn’t helping anyone. Stop procrastinating. Usually, the things that we see as hard are what we need to do the most. Tackle the hard things in the morning when you’re fresh, alert, and ready to go.
Know When to Take Breaks
Even if you’re not working all day every day, you’d be more productive if you took a few hours to decompress and come back to tasks. If you’re hitting a wall, give yourself space. When you’re ready, revisit the task and crush it. Taking strategic breaks interrupts the cycle of dwindling your energy away during a mental block.
This allows you to foster greater creativity and open up your flow.
At the end of the day, we all should be looking to adopt new strategies to help us succeed. Stop carrying the burden of “busy culture” and start working smarter instead of harder. This will help you cultivate a greater sense of work-life balance, streamline your workflows, and alleviate the friction of fatigue.
How do you overcome the modern day busy culture?