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Is busy really always a good thing?

02/11/2016

Is the feeling of being busy always good or correct? Quite probably in a business environment, as long as it is for the right reasons, but we have to ensure that we always manage it correctly. If we aren’t careful, work can take over our lives and we can become completely overwhelmed by what we need to do and the perceived deadlines and stresses that accompany it.

We spend a lot of our waking time at work as it is, and a worrying number of people don’t feel like they are in control of their own working lives. To help combat this, the prioritisation of rest time is vital, but something that we as a nation are not very good at! We need to remember that, whether we are lucky enough to be working in our ‘passion’ or not, we do not let ourselves be fooled that busy automatically means successful. Going on holiday doesn’t mean that we are failing or losing out, and we shouldn’t be put off by the thought of a looming email inbox on our return.

An aspect of realism from both employee and management is required to help maintain a healthy relationship with work, to focus on workload and also our approach to it. We have discussed the issues in perception of work-life balance already here, but are we really as busy as we think that we are sometimes? We all know the saying that time flies when we are having fun, and this translates across into tasks that we enjoy and find fulfilling. When there is some part of work that we find that is more of a struggle, or obligatory even, this may weigh us down more and make us feel that we are busier and more overwhelmed that we actually are.

In this case, sometimes taking a brief rest is the way forwards to allow us to regroup on what we need to do. The healing powers of a screen break are well documented and can help to reset the focus on the tasks in hand. There will always be aspects of a job or responsibility that we are less eager to embrace, these will sooner or later require completion as well.

We need to make sure that all of our tasks are performed to the best of our ability, making time for the things that we need to achieve and not wasting time procrastinating or complaining about the things that do not need to be a priority. If we do this, we should be able to focus on the important tasks and feel less trapped by the more ‘boring’ and potentially time-consuming tasks that can trick us into worrying about being too busy and overworked when we perhaps shouldn’t be.

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