People all around us appear extremely busy all the time. Being busy is perceived to be a strength and an asset hence there is a concerted effort to look busy and pretend to work hard. But is this busyness really necessary to run a business or do any other work?

Nobody pushes us to do it

Not really. Most of the busy-ness is done out of our own free will. Nobody pushes us to do it. It is our ambition or drive or anxiety that creates this busyness. We think busy translates to better business and higher profits. But that is so far from reality.

Working long hours may be necessary at times – be busy at that time. But to continue being super busy all the time is counter-productive.  It does not enhance productivity or help make better decisions. In fact excessive busy-ness could be a sign that your systems are not working as efficiently as they should. It depletes your reserves of energy at the wrong times and hampers the progress of work. Being overloaded makes you less productive, not more.

Mindset needs to change

Most bosses believe that the longer you work the more responsible, dependable and committed you are. That mindset needs to change – after a point, additional work brings diminishing returns. So calculate how many hours you need to work to achieve peak productivity and stick with it. Fix your hours of work and do not go beyond that.

Don’t appear busy for the sake of looking busy. Be busy when the job in hand requires it – not at other times. Work to produce positive results not to make everyone think that you are the best because you work long hours. Evaluate the success of business on the basis of outcome not in terms of how busy you were.

Makes work a burden

Constant effort is not beneficial for anyone. It takes away the joy and makes work a burden. If that happens you will have to force yourself to work and that will play havoc with the results. It is only when you work without being forced, when you work because you want to not because you have to that the results are positive. Take short breaks in between your busy periods so that you can get back to work refreshed and recharged.

Being busy all the time at work does not give you the space or the opportunity to grow and develop mentally, to read or exercise or play a sport or go for a walk or a movie or a cup of coffee with a friend. All these are activities you need to do in order to lead a full, complete, balanced life which will then get reflected in success in your work and business. Do not forget to invest in yourself – you are your best friend so look after yourself every which way.

90-minute spans

Research has shown that we work best in 90-minute spans – we can get a reasonable amount of work done without exhausting ourselves. More than that eats into our store of energy and reduces productivity. Hyper busy-ness leads to health issues like hypertension, fatigue, stress, depression etc. None of this is good for you, your family or your business.

Being busy all the time shuts your eye to new opportunities, prevents you from prioritizing, slows down your thinking ability, makes you equate “doing” with “positive results”, blurs your vision, makes you inconsistent in your approach and work, eats away your patience and adversely affects your health and overall well-being.

Stop being busy, start being smart, wise, innovative and productive.