One of my middle school administrators used to end assembly meetings by saying, “Distractions will kill you, if you let them.” The older I got, the more profound this became. See, distractions are dream killers, and time wasters. Being mindful of the people, places and things, that are distractions in your life, and remove them if need be.
Let me break this down a bit more: mindfulness is bringing your attention back to focus, and keeping it there as long as you can. Being productive is producing results, and being busy just taking up time. When you’re productive, you know exactly what your end goal is, and set objectives leading to accomplishing that goal. Being busy on the other hand, is basically filling up time with activities that may or may not help you to carry out your goal. Mindfulness in this regard, is being able to shift your focus from being busy, to being productive.
I don’t think being busy is bad. I would even go as far as saying that it’s a good thing in some instances. But when it comes to being productive, there’s really no comparison. I’ve focused on being more productive and less busy, and it’s hard. But mindfulness teaches us that constantly bringing our attention back to what’s important, time after time, increases our ability to focus.
I consider being busy is when it’s difficult to bring my attention back to focus. When it’s at the end of the night and you’re extremely exhausted. It becomes easier to look busy, while not really getting anything done. You know that there’s not enough time to produce any deliverables, so you just occupy that last hour doing everything, but nothing. Like I said, it’s not necessarily bad, just not productive.
Another I see myself being busy is by multi-tasking. Let me be the first to tell you, multi-tasking is a myth. Now there are certain occupations that need multi-tasking, like being able to speak with a client while researching the issue. Or in the early stages of a company where you are the CEO and the janitor. But on a day-to-day basis, multi-tasking is actually one of the biggest ways to cut productivity.
I can assure you that completing a task one at a time is much more efficient than jumping back and forth between the two. And if you’re still a firm believer in multi-tasking, then looking into a practice called mindfulness meditation. It’s one of the core principles that lead me to this belief. It’s also taught and practiced by Google, so I guess it’s working for them.
All in all, this 2018 let’s be more productive and less busy. Waking up in the mornings as increased my level of focus and productivity. I also think that committing myself to write these posts every week, is helping a lot with my focus and consistency. I feel very accomplished after bringing all my attention into writing, and not moving on to the next task until publishing the post. I challenge you to practice mindfulness instead of multi-tasking, and decreasing the time it takes you to get back to focus and see how much more productive you’ll be.
This contact form seems to work well, so please use for any and everything you’d be interested in! I may start an anonymous advice column, but I love how e-mail keeps it pretty private, so let’s stick with that.
Keep Inspiring Dreams,