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Define ‘busy’

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How often do you greet a friend, colleague or acquaintance with ‘how are you?’ and the response is, ‘ohh so… busy!’ People clearly have different views on what busy is. Someone working 9 to 5 and only gets 45minutes for their lunch instead of their allocated 1hour may class themselves as busy. On the same token, someone working 75 hours a week may also be tagged as ‘busy’. My challenge for the new year, rather than responding with ‘ohh geez I’m so.. busy’ is to respond with either I’m being ‘productive’ or ‘unproductive’. In my view, this means so much more….

Two things I’m always conscious of when avoiding a ‘busy’ day are; Firstly, prioritise tasks which get you closer to meeting your goals. Any other tasks that don’t help you to do so are just clutter. Secondly, jumping from task to task without clear direction or goals is just “busy work” and is likely not going to result in a productive day. We’re sh*t at multi-tasking, focusing on one task at a time makes you more productive by allowing you to be fully immersed in the task at hand. If your mind starts to wander to another task, simply write it down and come back to it later.

Some food for thought, the average worker spends 30 hours a week checking email. For most workers, simply checking to see whether they’ve got a new email consumes as much time as they spend doing productive work. Does this sound like you? If so, one simple trick may be to turn off your email (if not all) the notifications on your phone, you’ll be amazed how much more productive you’ll become just by not constantly glancing over at one of the biggest time wasters of all, your phone!

Something else that I think is imperative to a productive workday is the incorporation of physical activity, for me, this is blocking out 1.5hours in my diary every day to go to the gym. Everyone’s different, this could be a lunchtime boot camp with colleagues, afternoon yoga or a morning jog, essentially anything that gets you moving. This time is my time and no one else’s. It allows me to have a productive morning, followed by some ‘me time’ then allowing me to go back to the office for a productive second half of my day without the need for quick fix stimulants, like a double shot cappuccino or brownie from Bourke St Bakery.

This year, let’s avoid ‘busy’ and simply be ‘productive’.