I recently came across an article that explored why seeing your employees always furiously working could be detrimental. The article, posted on Inc.com, discussed how “busyness” could kill creativity.
Taking it a step further, though, I think this “busyness-creativity suppression” dynamic applies to our own personal work, as well. Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we’re extremely productive while busily multitasking, but in reality we’re not delivering anything of real value.
Here are some things I’ve found helpful overcoming “busyness” so I can focus on being effective and unleashing my creativity.
3 Ways to Achieve Better Focus and Results
- Work in sprints — Work is like a marathon, lasting for prolonged periods. So, instead of working nonstop, go ahead and take a break. I personally do my own version of the Pomodoro technique — I work for 50 minutes and then take a break for 10 minutes. In those 10 minutes I take care of small errands or talk to people. After doing about three or four of these work periods I then take a longer break to give my creativity and energy time to recharge.
- Let technology help — I recently discovered a new application called Focus at Will that plays good background music and lets you get into work mode. I only listen to it while I work, and it makes it easier for me to focus on the task at hand since I know the clock is running while the music is streaming.
- Focus on results, not time – Whether you work for yourself or for others, focus on the results you provide, and not just the hours you put in. If you’re an employee, by being a more effective producer you will become a more valuable employee.
In this 24:7 work world, if you mindfully apply these 3 points, you can transcend looking busy and can more readily channel your creativity and personal effectiveness.