Be productive not just busy

busy_personI don’t know why but everybody has this tendency to think that a hard worker puts in lot of time at his work. A person working beyond his shift hours is considered to be dedicated and has good attitude towards work than a person who finishes his work on time and leaves for home on time. We measure the time spent at work by people than what was achieved. There is a lot of difference between being busy and being productive. People can be very busy by doing lot of unproductive work. Surveys shows that employees are only 50% productive than they are expected and paid to be. Unfortunately, we get carried away by being busy than by being productive in achieving results. We measure availability, utilization all of which are all related to time spent and we hardly measure the right things done by the employee or what value add the employee has brought to the organization or customers. Effectiveness is more important than efficiency however we focus more on efficiency.

If you would just try to track the time spent by you in different activities for a week, you will just shock yourself by the percentage of time you spend on doing things which does not add any value to the organization or to the customers or yourself. Most of the time is spent in Crisis management, meetings and coffee breaks. I tried it and got shocked as well by the trend and then I started to change the pattern consciously. It is not easy but very effective. Most of us spend little time planning what are the core activities we need to do related to our responsibilities. We spend planning out to-do list and completely missing the right things which needs to be done to achieve results. once we are able to plan the right activities to focus then allocating time is a cake walk. The other thing I have seen working for me is to block the tasks to be completed in 90 mins period. we can get things done quicker and better by locking ourselves in a room for 90 mins focusing on the task than spending the whole week spending 15 mins every day.

Being result oriented is important and we should focus on putting more work into time than putting lot of time into work. At end of the day being busy will only make you tier and exhausted and not happy. Only achieving results will give you more fulfillment and job satisfaction. this can be attained only by putting more work into the time we have. Do the right thing and become effective and not just busy.

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