Sick of being too busy but not productive?

Sick of being too busy but not productive? featured image

Sick of being too busy but not productive?

Are you working flat out and buzzing around from one task to another with no time to breathe? Time to get focussed.

I have collated some key themes around getting more organised and how to become more productive from my regional value makers and summarise these below;

(1) Emails;

• Schedule time for emails and don't let them distract you from your core work plan. If it's urgent they will find another way

• Set up a CC folder and set up a rule to drop all copied in emails here.

• First thing in the morning go through emails in the inbox received yesterday and action or clear, that way nothing waits too long, and you have lots of time to do the actual work.

• Create Tasks from emails, which automatically drop into the Things App to keep track of [See utilising technology section below]

• Daily / weekly go through cc folder to see if anything needs to be actioned.

(2) Friday Night Brain Dump

• Write everything down what needs to be done in the next week.

• Prioritise this list;

1. Immovable Task / Deadline

2. Value Adding

3. Anything Else

• Schedule;

1. The 1’s first at the beginning of each day

2. Schedule your 2’s around the 1’s

3. Fit the 3’s in or delegate.

Obviously the above is just a guide but by writing everything down and scheduling your key priorities – this will help massively in keeping focussed, filtering the noise and increasing your productivity.

(3) Feedback and Self Reflection

• Take time to review the tasks you have undertaken

• Ask if what you prepared / completed was actually used and for any feedback from it.

Sometimes things may be prepared just because they always have been or may not have hit the requirement – both of these points are important to understand as you could either save time if the output was not needed or help shape communication if what was completed did not suit the requirement.

• Consider if what you have done be done differently next time?

(4) Using Technology

• Things Application – Others are available but value maker Lynn Hartley found this one particularly useful and has synergies with her thought process;

o You can link this application to pick up calendar and tasks from outlook.

o Select three must do items each day from the long list and be happy you got three things done.

[Somewhat the electronic, rolling version of the Friday Night brain dump described above]

(5) Work Life Balance

• Outside of work – what do you do and what do you want to do?

• Block time for the menial tasks that need to be undertaken but more importantly, schedule time for you

Be who you need to be and own it

Personal Resilience

Keeping stress at bay is key to regaining control and stopping you reacting to everything.

In the words of Dr Steve Bull, “Control your Controllables” so make sure you know what they are.


  • Leadership and Management
  • Leadership and Management > Workforce
  • Leadership and Management > Workforce > Staff Well-being
  • Mental Health
  • Mental Health > Resilience
  • Commissioning and Procurement > Fabulous Stuff
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