19 October 2015

busy versus productive

I came across two good pieces on being busy versus productivity: 'The busy trap' and 'Busy: A badge of honour or a big lie?

While 'The busy trap' refers to an extreme trend, I do think that a lot of times we choose to be busy because we are worried that if we are not fully occupied, our lives may be trivial, or we may have time to reflect on how unhappy we really are. When I first moved to India, being busy was important. I needed to work, to be productive, to feel good about myself, to not dwell on the fact that I had just left my home, family and friends, a whole three decades worth of memories behind.. I cannot remember how many times ‘stay busy’, ‘keep yourself occupied’ have been said as rallying cries in conversations with friends and family. I think this level of busyness is okay, is good for you in fact.

These days, though, just taking care of my toddler twins, my home and doing my part time work is leaving me feeling too busy. So many times, I find myself telling people that I just don’t have time to call or message anyone. I annoy myself at times by repeating this.. but honestly, the tiny amounts of free time I have, I use it to read books, surf the web, or message people that are important to me. The thought of using my free time to make duty calls (or other mundane tasks like cleaning the fridge) is distasteful.. 

I used to be very good at daydreaming.. i could sit for large amounts of time just thinking or imagining.. i miss those times. I can barely spend more than 15 mins in the bathroom now without one or the other twin banging away on the door..

What I have noticed is that too much busyness leads to multitasking, and that is bad for productivity. I have never been so great at multitasking.. focusing on one thing at a time is the only way I can do anything well. I am ecstatic that studies now seem to show that multitasking is not good for you; that we are not wired for multitasking in the first place!
 #microblog mondays


Lollipop Goldstein said...

I like this a lot. Partially because I am always looking to grab more me-time, but also grow anxious when I don't have a lot of projects lined up. I'm at the midway point in a project right now, and I'm already anxiously looking to fill the gap that will come when it's done. And I still have months of work to go! It's a terrible habit, especially because I cherish those minutes I have to sit down and read.

torthĂșil said...

Here from the Friday round up. I know the feeling of being busy but not productive. For me the problem is that I am perpetually distracted by what I'm busy with so I feel like I'm not thinking anything through, or I feel so overwhelmed I procrastinate anything that might take more time, even if it won't really.