How to Go From Being Busy to Being Productive
There’s a reason you feel busy and don’t get anything done. Find out what it takes to jump-start your productivity.
Being busy and being productive can be two very different things. If you’re super busy but can’t manage to get anything done, you’re not alone.
“It’s very easy to succumb to the temptation of staying busy even when it is counterproductive: It is the way our brains are wired,” write Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino and University of North Carolina Business School professor Bradley Staats in Harvard Business Review.
Gino and Staats say that they have a solution you can use to “translate that predisposition into productivity.” According to research, the reasons people feel busy, but are not productive, are self-imposed.
“People have an aversion to idleness,” Gino and Staats write. “We have friends who will, by choice, drive miles out of their way to avoid waiting for a few minutes at traffic lights, even if the detour means their journey takes more time. Research suggests that the same applies to work, where many of the things we choose to do are merely justifications to keep ourselves busy.”
The second reason for constant busyness is an inherent “bias toward action,” Gino and Staats write. “When faced with uncertainty or a problem, particularly an ambiguous one, we prefer to do something, even if it’s counterproductive and doing nothing is the best course of action.”
Below, find out more about these two self-imposed habits and how to stop crippling your own productivity.