A mountain view with a gravel road in the foreground. A sign saying slow down.

Is busyness a problem in your life? If you’re not sure, you can read a discussion about being busy all the time in my blog.

If it’s not a problem for you, then maybe you know people who do suffer. For you, or others, knowing how to change things could be extremely useful.

Why do you want to change?

What is it about busyness that irks you? How much does keeping busy all the time spoil things for you? Here are five questions to ponder.

  1. What do you feel you miss out on?
  2. How much would you benefit from spending more time on the answer to question 1?
  3. What changes would you experience in your state of mind?
  4. What percentage of your day spent in busyness, are you definition of it?
  5. How important do you feel it is to make some changes?

Immediate Change or Incremental Change?

There are two main routes to this kind of change: cold turkey or incremental change.

Cold turkey is good if you have an addiction to something, incremental changes are more manageable if you want to change habits that are not a severe addiction. Yes, I know that’s a bit simplistic, but for the purpose of this blog we’ll stick to it. There is a lot of other material available if you want to dive deeper.

Cold turkey needs a lot of motivation, a lot of willpower and support from other people. You can see some immediate benefits, but you could easily fall off the wagon.

With incremental change you can try minor changes, testing the waters to see small but significant benefits. As you continue making slight changes you will see the benefits compounding. It won’t take long to notice that you’ve stepped away from being busy all the time.

Seven Top Tips

  1. Learn how to say no to people.
  2. Use a calendar to know your commitments. Allow some planning to happen in your life.
  3. Look at the most menial and time-consuming tasks. Can they be dropped, delegated, or systemised to save you time?
  4. Reduce dopamine pings. Those alerts on your phone, or desktop give you a dopamine hit every time you respond to them. Turn off all but the most urgent alerts.
  5. Put time in your diary every day to do something that recharges your energy.
  6. Ask yourself each day “What have I done today to reduce my busyness? What will I do tomorrow?”
  7. Monitor your social media use. Check how you feel after spending time on it.

There is more detail on how to reduce busyness in my blog. Alternatively, you can download my 34 free productivity tips to get more done in a shorter time. Use the tips to free up some of your time though, don’t get focussed on being able to be busy more effectively!

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