Work Smarter, Not Harder
It's so easy to say, I'm busy. In reality, I should be working smarter, not harder. Busy is as much of a state of mind, as it is the items on your plate. It's a routine, a lifestyle, and a shitty excuse.
If you fall into the busy pattern, I personally believe it's easier to make mistakes. Your pace is more frantic, your getting pulled in thirty different directions, and you really don't have the time needed to pay attention to what your doing. To be deliberate, you need to focus. Busy doesn't always afford focus. We need to stop pretending we can do a good job and live up to our expectations while being busy.
Don't Be A Hero
This is a rally call against busy. But, it often falls on deaf ears.
Let's look at this differently. What is more impressive? Let's consider two different use cases.
Use case 1: Joe's group worked 60 hours this week. The features he built went through three iterations, but he met his deadline and the deliverable met the client expectations.
Use case 2: Sally's group worked 40 hours this week. Her team had a restful weekend, had a team meeting to brainstorm on Monday, and built the same feature with minimal bugs.
Which one is more heroic? I am a big fan of effort, but effort shouldn't mask poor decision making and a lack of planning.
Find Your Happy Place
In Happy Gilmore, before Happy could make a putt, he had to channel his inner happy place. Happy dreamed of ice cold beer steins, rolling hills, and women in lingerie. But, this is different for all of us.
The idea is simple. Your best happens when you can think. You need serenity. You need time away from devices, emails, Skype, and other common distractions. You have to focus.
You need to afford yourself the opportunity to reflect. This may be within the shower, on a flight, going to a coffee shop, etc. The key point here is to make this a part of your routine. Get out of the busy and hectic pace. Step away from that horribly unhealthy pattern. Reflect, recharge, and reprioritize. You would be shocked at how the best answers and pure focus come when you find a place far away from the busy.