Take Time Out of Your Busy Life: How to Do More by Doing Less
If you’re striving to live a more productive or creative life, one of the best things you can do is take the time to think.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives, but if you want to reach your highest potential, taking a minute out of your day to rest, think and recoup can be incredibly beneficial.
By choosing “A Minute To Think,” by Naseem Dalal, you’ll discover how simplifying your life and carving out space for yourself can transform your performance at work.
It teaches readers how taking just a few minutes to restore their minds and energy levels can help them tackle any task with more focus and efficiency.
The book also offers helpful advice on why it’s important to go on an email diet, how smartphones are affecting your friendships, and what daydreaming can do for your productivity.
So dare to take some time out of your day — read this book!
You’ll find information that’ll help you make wise decisions that become daily habits that eventually lead to extraordinary transformation in all areas of life.
Give Yourself a Break – Don’t Fall Into the Trap of Performative Busyness
In ‘A Minute to Think’, author Susan Borowska brings to our attention a vital point: we don’t have the space to think anymore.
We live in a world where being busy has somehow become a measure of success and productivity; however, this can actually work against us and stifle our potential.
For example, Linda was excited when she got promoted at her job; it came with increased responsibility too, but this meant that her schedule was crammed full and she forgoed her usual lunch break just so she could finish everything.
As a result, she wasn’t making any headway and instead of using her talent and expertise as she had done previously, her results started taking a dip.
This is an archetypal ‘performative busyness’ that many people fall into without realising it – where they become guilty if they’re not constantly doing something productive – but what you really need is breathing space so that you can be really productive.
Considering our own lives, this is an inconvenient but powerful truth to take on board; our modern 24/7 hustle culture may not be beneficial if it doesn’t give us the time or energy to make intelligent decisions or plan properly.
So push back against the pressure to cram your agenda full all the time – because only by taking some time out once in a while will you truly maximize your potentials.
Understanding Our Impulse to Stay Busy, and What We Can Do About It
It’s no secret that we often feel the need to work too hard in order to fit in with our coworkers and be accepted in our professional lives.
This phenomenon can be seen all too clearly in the American TV show Candid Camera, where unsuspecting members of the public were filmed on an escalator.
While the actors went one way, the people would follow them, facing backward on the escalator against their better judgment.
The same kind of impulse can be seen in workplace scenarios.
We want to leave work at a reasonable hour but find ourselves hanging around longer because everyone else is staying late.
Or when colleagues seem to always answer emails within minutes, we feel pressure to follow their lead or be left behind.
This dilemma highlights how much control our workplaces have over us and how easily we can fall into patterns of conformity with regards to our workloads.
Consider a senior accountant who feels obligated to regularly attend pointless meetings out of fear of opting out – even though this doesn’t benefit him or his productivity at all.
It’s easy for these types of situations to spiral into burnout and even overwhelm if we’re not careful; researchers at Gallup recently found that almost 25% of all working personnel felt this way!
Why Taking Breaks Can Boost Your Creativity and Productivity
Taking breaks when you’re stuck on a task can actually be beneficial to your creativity.
Scientists have recently discovered that in order for us to complete complex and difficult tasks, we need to engage the frontal lobe of our brain which carries out our most advanced thinking.
However, this part of our brain gets tired quickly and needs regular breaks to recharge in order for it to think clearly again.
A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon further supports this idea by showing that even taking a break for just three or thirty seconds was enough to improve workers’ focus and engagement on a task.
It is also important to know what type of break to take as there are four different types according to Harvard Business School – social break (talking with co-workers), nutritional break (snacking), relaxation break (daydreaming) and cognitive break (reading a book).
Social breaks and relaxation breaks were found to have the biggest impact on productivity while cognitive breaks did the opposite.
It seems like the answer is not necessarily time-oriented but activity-related instead!
Our Drives for Excellence and Information Are Eating Up Our Valuable Time
In today’s hectic world, our natural desire for excellence and the need to gain more information can easily lead us to make poor use of our valuable free time.
We may be too focused on details, even for unimportant tasks.
Or we may find ourselves spending too much time trying to absorb all the latest news and data available–even though there is far more information available now than what our brains have evolved to handle.
It’s important to remember that time is finite, so it makes sense to focus our efforts on what matters most and not waste precious time unnecessarily.
As the old saying goes: “You can’t get back yesterday”.
So by being mindful of how we spend our time, we can make sure we don’t succumb to perfectionism or information overload and reclaim some of that valuable time.
How Addiction To Digital Communication Is Disrupting Our Relationships and Productivity
Our digital communication habits are having a major impact on our relationships and productivity.
Studies show that having our smartphones nearby takes away from the connection we have with other people.
Not only that, but it reduces our mental focus and brainpower.
We’ve become addicted to checking emails or scrolling through social media, searching for that dopamine hit that we get when something new is presented to us – similar to the thrill a gambler gets when they win.
This reliance on digital communication is impacting our ability to build meaningful relationships and get work done.
That’s why it’s important to maintain an “email diet.” This includes setting boundaries around when you check your emails, treating your need for email like you would treat food – you need some but not too much – so your relationships and work won’t suffer as a result.
Enhance Your Communication Skills: 2D vs 3D!
When communicating with coworkers, the medium you choose makes all the difference.
If you’re asking a simple yes/no question, something like a text message or an email will work just fine.
But if you want to discuss a more in-depth issue, then you need to opt for a 3D medium: voice-to-voice interaction, whether that be in person, over the phone or via Zoom.
With its range of nonverbal communication such as body language and tone of voice, 3D is great for conveying nuanced things like feelings and emotions which tends to get lost when using a written language like emails or instant messages.
So next time you want to communicate something complex with someone at work, make sure that you choose your medium wisely!
Make Meetings Count: Achieving the Right Balance by Reevaluating Your Approach to Them
When it comes to meetings, not all are equal.
Some meetings may be necessary for meaningful progress in your professional life; others are simply a waste of time.
During the pandemic, many people came to understand that these occasions can still hold valuable moments of connection and creativity; and so now it is important to decide how much time should be invested into them.
To determine the correct amount of time for any particular meeting, two crucial questions must be asked: Do I have a unique contribution to make or will vital information or ideas be missed without my presence? And will I benefit having attended this specific meeting? If both answers are yes- go ahead!
But if not- don’t stress out, there are other ways you can remain involved without being physically present.
It’s important to remember that not all meetings are created equal and it is just as important to discern which ones are necessary and beneficial as those that weren’t so we can make sure our time is effectively used.
The main takeaway of the book “A Minute to Think” is to stop and think before taking any action.
True success comes not from filling up our schedule with meaningless tasks and meetings, but rather from being creative and productive while spending time on the right things.
We can do this by redefining our idea of urgency and learning to tell the difference between truly important tasks that require our immediate attention, and those tasks that could potentially wait a few minutes or even hours until we are able to bring our full energy and focus to them.
This way, we can make sure that the decisions we make are thoughtful, intentional ones – not just knee-jerk reflexes brought about by succumbing to hallucinated urgency!