Busiocrity-The Art of Looking Busy but NOT Being Productive

I’m not sure about you but I love the medicine commercials now. With all of the regulatory requirements placed on the pharmaceutical industry, 75% of those commercials are spent informing the potential consumer of all of the side-effects that could happen as a result of taking the medicine. Everything from blood in your urine to constipation to dry mouth or mood swings. I find myself being more intrigued with the side effects and forgetting what the medication is actually supposed to treat! So, in honor of that tradition, let’s assume Busiocrityis a virus…. indulge me for a bit.

Busiocrity, a virus that is plaguing offices internationally. Common symptoms:


  • Back to back meetings
  • Meetings about meetings that you’ve had or meetings you’re going to have
  • Endless To Do lists that carry over from one day to the next
  • Having a clean email box but destroyed desk at the end of the day
  • Trouble sleeping, constant list making, fever, heartburn, acid reflux and mood swings


Sound familiar? If so, you might be suffering from this common virus. Constant emails andmeetings that produce no results are becoming an epidemic in today’s workplace. As humans, we have evolved from spending our days toiling the land or chasing our food to toiling in meetings and chasing productivity. What’s worse is that there seems to be no end in sight for this plague. There are, however, some individuals who have escaped this Zombie virus to rise above the mess. What do they do? Let’s take a look:

Tip 1: Change your To Do List

Get away from the to do list, it’s a killer. Look at managing by projects and let that be the focus for your day. Managing according to projects helps to naturally shift your brain to keep your focus on the end goal versus the tiny steps that will get you there. Choose to focus on two or three projects a day and accomplish as much as you can for those. You will leave the day feeling accomplished and maybe even energized. Jeff Haden with Inc.com states that successful people “start at the end” and using a project minded approach will help move you more in that direction.

Tip 2: Shut down the email beast

Email owns so many people in ways that are borderline sadistic. If I am working on a project or doing research, I will close out my email and my social media and just focus on those items. This helps my ADDHD (in my case the HD is High Definition). I find I remain more productive and tend to get more accomplished by shutting down the noise of email and social media for two hours a day to do my most critical items. It also allows me to connect dots that would not normally jump out of me because of my fragmented focus.

Tip 3: Just Say No

This tip will be easier if you are in a management position or a position of influence so keep it in mind. If you are invited to a meeting with no agenda or is organized by a person that enjoys meetings because they allow them to pontificate, just say no to the meeting. I had one individual that I invited to a meeting who asked what we were to accomplish during the meeting. My response obviously didn’t engage them because they declined the meeting. After four times, I talked with this highly successful individual that said he only goes to meetings that have an agenda and a goal to accomplish. I’ve tried to keep this in mind as I get invitations and have learned to politely push back in some cases.

We are all busy but not all of us are productive. Try these simple tips and see if they work. If you have other tips, please share them. We’re all in this Zombie race together!


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