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What It Means to Be Busy vs. Productive


In your continued journey towards your personal self-growth, your willingness to develop and study in new methods by no means fails to encourage me. Which is why, right this moment, I wish to talk about a typical false impression that so many people grapple with usually: the thought of being busy vs. being productive.

In our fast-paced society, with virtually instantaneous communication, the expectation is that we’re all the time obtainable, and within the normal rush of our day by day lives, being busy is seen as some type of badge of honor. We frequently equate busyness with productiveness, pondering that if we’re not continually doing one thing, we’re not making progress. 

However is that the case? I don’t suppose so.

Being busy merely means you’re occupied. It doesn’t essentially imply you’re being productive. So, what’s the distinction between being productive and busy?

Productive vs. busy: What’s the distinction?

After we have a look at what it means to be busy vs. productive, I’m reminded of one thing my grandmother all the time stated: “In case you want one thing achieved, give it to the busiest individual . However if you’d like one thing achieved proper, it’s possible you’ll simply must do it your self.”

The extra I take into consideration this, the extra it rings true. Productiveness is about being intentional, proactive and environment friendly. It’s about reaching outcomes, being efficient and doing issues that transfer you nearer to your objectives. Productiveness requires that your actions have that means and function—you’re intentional about what you do, each professionally and personally.

Conversely, being busy is a state of reactivity, the place you fill your time with busy work (no pun supposed) that doesn’t result in any higher aim or end result. Typically, the busiest folks we all know are the least productive as a result of they’re juggling too many duties in too little time with out specializing in what’s really vital.

So, how do you shift from being busy to being productive?

The best way to shift from being busy to being productive

Shifting your understanding of what it means to be busy versus productive is step one to leaving the busy work behind and turning into extra productive. It begins with setting clear objectives and priorities, understanding what you really wish to obtain and focusing your vitality on duties that deliver you nearer to these objectives. Listed below are some tricks to get you began.

1. Audit your to-do listing 

To-do lists can rapidly develop into bloated with duties that aren’t related to your private objectives for the day or the work you truly want to finish. You solely have a lot psychological vitality in a given day to dedicate to your to-do listing, so auditing it might assist you to deal with the duties that want your most speedy consideration. By chopping your listing all the way down to probably the most related duties, you possibly can method your listing with extra focus and intentionality.

Implement the 1-3-5 rule as you audit your to-do listing. Basically, this rule has you map out one massive process, three medium duties and 5 smaller duties you wish to full. This helps maintain your to-do listing small and manageable. You possibly can simply apply this methodology to your day by day or weekly to-do listing. 

2. Create a time administration matrix

If you wish to ditch a extra conventional to-do listing, take into account making a time administration matrix—a to-do listing that places all of your duties in a single place. A time administration matrix is damaged into 4 sections, showcasing which of your duties are vital, not vital, pressing and never pressing. By visually seeing which duties fall beneath every class, you possibly can simply deal with a very powerful and pressing ones first.

To get probably the most out of your time administration matrix, be certain to not overfill it. You possibly can implement the 1-3-5 rule as you fill out your matrix or set a restricted variety of duties you’ll embrace. When you full a process, cross it off the matrix earlier than including something new.

3. Let your self disconnect

I’m not speaking about tossing your telephone right into a lockbox or out the window right here. However your telephone and laptop are the simplest methods for folks to contact you each for socialization and handy off duties, work and issues they want you to do. By disconnecting your self a bit, you’ll be capable of reclaim a few of your time and reduce on the busy work that so typically finds its method into our day by day routine.

Some easy methods to disconnect and put a buffer between you and busy work embrace:

  • Hold your telephone or laptop on silent or in do-not-disturb mode. This helps minimize down on notifications from functions, web sites and your e mail and offers you the possibility to get to them once you’re prepared. 
  • Flip off notifications utterly. This cuts down on pop-up alerts in your display always, each for work and personal-related apps. 
  • Spend time outdoors every week by strolling, taking part in a sport or simply sitting to learn. 

4. Say no to duties when it’s essential

Saying no may be onerous for anybody, particularly should you suppose you possibly can deal with no matter is being requested of you. However that is the place a way of self-discipline is useful, particularly as you deal with being productive vs. being busy. Observe productive decision-making by saying no to sure duties; it will assist maintain your time yours and can assist you to keep centered in your objectives. 

While you say no, whether or not it’s to private or skilled asks, you’ll want to be agency and clear. You possibly can present a purpose if you wish to or you possibly can select to not clarify—often, a easy “My schedule is full” works simply high-quality. Bear in mind: You’re saying no to issues that don’t align along with your objectives. You solely have a lot time in your day, and saying no is a ability that may assist you to reclaim time.

With these tips about find out how to shift from being busy to being productive, I additionally need you to recollect how essential it’s to know when to take a break. Productiveness isn’t about fixed motion however about good motion. Relaxation and rejuvenation are key parts of sustainable productiveness.

I wish to go away you with one problem. Problem your self to evaluate your actions. Are they preserving you busy or making you productive? Are you working on a wheel, or are you shifting towards your objectives? 

The aim is to not be busy and in fixed movement however to be productive and make significant progress. So, deal with your self, keep centered and keep in mind that your price shouldn’t be outlined by how busy you’re however by the progress you make!

Photograph by ©Mike D’Avello

Amy Somerville, CEO of SUCCESS® Enterprises, is a mission-driven chief with demonstrated success in growing extremely efficient groups, delivering dynamic studying methods, and constructing engaged communities. She is a passionate community-builder, gathering like-minded, profitable entrepreneurs and businesspeople to share finest practices for achievement. She lives her life deliberately and is pushed day by day by the acronym L.I.V.E.: LEAD, INSPIRE, VALUE, EMPATHIZE. Comply with Amy on Instagram, Fb and LinkedIn.



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