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Thanks — or rather no thanks — to the Internet, it’s now possible to work all the time. That 9-to-5 job you signed up for now goes around the clock, and that’s bound to leave you feeling busy and overwhelmed. Funnily enough, taking on more projects doesn’t necessarily mean getting more done, and as Laura Garnett explains in a helpful Daily Muse post titled “5 Ways to Stop Being So Busy (While Still Getting Everything Done),” being scattered leads to burnout, and that’s bad for productivity.

Garnett offers some fantastic tips for tweaking your schedule, making things more manageable, and still checking things off your to-do list. Read on to see what she suggests.

1. Stick to Your Talents — Are you taking on tasks that don’t excite you, or that you’re simply no good at? This is bound to leave you feeling drained and uninspired, Garnett writes. If you run a business, hire someone else to lighten the load. If you work for a company, see if you can pass the work off to someone with the right skill set.

2. Don’t Attend Every Meeting — If your presence isn’t absolutely essential, don’t go.

3. Leave Time for Thinking — There’s one person you should always take time to meet with: yourself. Carve out a block every day to think about your work and how you’d like to move forward.

4. Figure Out Why You’re Busy — At the start of each week, take stock of things and ask yourself, “Why the heck am I so busy?” “Taking some time to understand what’s causing your personal bottleneck may add to the load in the short term, but figuring out what your capacity is — and learning not to take too much on — can save you time in the long run,” Garnett writes.

5. Stop the Multi-Tasking — As MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller told NPR, humans stink at multi-tasking. We only think we’re good at it. Quit the juggling act and focus on one thing at a tim.


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