Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to tackle things when you are busy (read: swamped)? I have. I work a full-time job, manage this site, and create daily content on social media. And I’m a caregiver. For some reason, when I write it like that, it doesn’t sound like a lot. But, trust me, it is. Yet the busier I get, the more excited I am to take on other projects (and the more opportunities that come my way).
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not someone who does well with “down time.” I tend to get bored easily, and then my anxious mind wonders, which isn’t good news for anyone. But when I’m busy and time is scarce, I’m more diligent and proactive (as in, I don’t procrastinate).
Who knew that the answer to my procrastination problem was to bury myself in work? For years, I tried everything from paper organizers, calendars, and journals to more modern versions on my phone to try to get ahead of my tendency to procrastinate. And nothing really worked. Now, I find myself carving out so many small intervals of time to get everything done in a week that my Google calendar looks as precarious as a game of Jenga. Yet, somehow, I do it, and my mindset is the best it has ever been. Rather than feel overwhelmed all the time, I often feel energized by everything I’m juggling and able to keep up in the air.
Naturally, I had to consult Google on the nature of productivity to see if I was an outlier or, if I had just made some astounding revelation. Sadly, neither were true. In an article from Medium, there is actually a science-backed reason as to why people are more productive when they are busy. Do you want to hear it?
The author notes that there are a few reasons that we find our productivity level at an all-time high when our time limit is at an all-time low, and one of them is that we impose reasonable deadlines for ourselves. Apparently, the trick is that they need to be just tight enough to light a fire under us but not too rigid that they add stress to our lives. This answer certainly resonated with me the most. The biggest difference in my productivity levels these days has to be that I put deadlines on tasks that push me to get to them but don’t scare me away from doing them. The other reasons which took the silver and bronze medal in the achievement category was bouncing back after a missed deadline and breaking things down (which I do and can tell you that it certainly helps).
So, if you’ve also noticed a heightened sense of productivity lately amongst a carefully curated calendar of colors, you now have scientific proof that your observations are valid.
What’s your relationship like with productivity?