Do you commonly describe your life as busy? The term carries a surprising amount of stress with it. The misconception is that being busy makes your life have more meaning – it describes a behavior more than an activity level. Busy bees: working hard, repeating the same task in monotony. At face value, being and appearing busy sounds like a positive, but subconsciously it reminds us of a negative, empty facsimile of working hard, but not smart.
Start characterizing yourself as productive, however, and the power is in your hands. You transform from the office geek who cannot get past projects for weeks, to the strong, unstoppable, get-up-and-go-er-get-ter that gets the raise, leads the meeting, and saves the company from the next client crisis.
Easier said than done, right? How can you make the transformation?
Clear the Mind with Capturing
Bruce Lee did not work in an office – if anything he was an expert in athletics. The simplicity of our biology is that our brain is just our thinking organ. Flexing that muscle is controllable – and there are two big ways to simplify.
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, called capturing “writing everything down that you should, could, or would” – the process allows you to clear the mind and categorize the ideas that clutter your brain. The constant clutter turns your brain into a pressure chamber – limiting your perspective to simply avoiding and anticipating the fires you’ll have to put out because you are living in fear of forgetting important tasks.
The 2-minute Rule
If it takes you less than 2 minutes to do the task, go ahead and perform the task. If it takes more than 2 minutes, go ahead and write it down or digitally capture it.
Want to read more about becoming productive? Discover the best ways to record your ideas.