Work

Busting up the busy trap

Last week I saw someone post on FB about the busy trap and it got me thinking.

How much time have I wasted over the years being oh-so-very-busy and stressed out vs being productive and moving forward? Ugh. I felt gross for about a minute. Then I shifted gears and realized I’m much more pointed in my actions these days. Every night before I go to sleep, I review my day. What did I do right? What could I have done better? What will I do tomorrow?

Now that I work from home, I’m much more aware of how my actions either move me ahead or set me behind every single day. I’m a busy trap vigilante. Because the busy trap is what gets you off course and into a rut. Of course distractions still happen (I’m looking at you, Dlisted…) but since I’ve started scheduling my work days — sometimes to the half-hour — these distractions happen a lot less frequently.

I’m the last person to give advice about time management, but I did have a few revelations about busting out of your rut. Your rut can really be anything: work, a relationship, personal development, accomplishing a specific goal. You name it.

  • If something isn’t working, change your methods. Of course, you have to set the time frame to know whether something is or isn’t working. But if you’re doing repeated actions and not getting the results you want, make a change.
  • Step away for a break and gain new perspective. I’m behind a computer screen most of the day, so for me I have to step away and do something (anything!) to shift my focus. When I come back, I can usually solve the problem that was making me crazy insane.
  • Laugh at yourself. This is a new one for me. I never, ever, ever wanted to laugh at myself. Now, I do it on a regular basis. Sometimes things get so ridiculous, you just have to laugh.
  • Be accountable. Pointing fingers isn’t really productive. Be responsible for your own stuff and when you mess up, figure out where you went wrong so you don’t have to go through all of that again.

How to you avoid the busy trap? I really want to know!

P.S. If technology is making our lives easier, shouldn’t it be freeing up our time to do something else (that’s not technology?)

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