Connect with us

Success Advice

The Difference Between Being Busy And Being Productive

Published

on

productivity

In today’s high-speed, ever-connected times, being “busy” is one of the most valued social currencies. If we’re busy, then surely we must be important, successful, valuable and living full lives. So “busy” becomes a proxy for inflating our egos, both for ourselves and for those around us. It’s because of this that being too busy to do something becomes such a valid excuse for not getting things done.  

In using “being busy” as an excuse for not doing scary, challenging, intimidating or important things in our lives, we turn “busy” into the new lazy. Think about it, how many times have you used “being busy” as a justification for anything from being inconsiderate to missing deadlines?

“The greatest enemy of good thinking is busyness.” ― John C. Maxwell

You want more success in life, but how productive do you really think you are? When asked how productive they are, most professionals will answer that they’re always so busy and manage to fit so many activities into their work day, they simply can’t do more.

But ask any of them to review how effectively they manage their time, and most of them are shocked at how much procrastination their activities actually involve. There’s a difference between being busy and getting things done and it influences your success directly.

How Can You Tell If You’re Being Busy Or Productive?

A study conducted by Stanford Professor Clifford Nass in 2009, showed that chronic multitaskers were consistently outperformed by non-multitaskers in a range of different tasks. Interestingly, the study found that even when the multitaskers were given activities that required them to focus on one single activity, the multitaskers still used their brains less effectively, suggesting that a cluttered, disorganised mind can have long-term effects that spread outside of multitasking situations.  So how can you tell if you’re a busy multitasker or a productive achiever?

Take a moment to go through the three questions below:

1. How long is your to-do list?

If you find yourself saying “yes” to everything and consequently having a mile long to-do list each day, chances are, you’re always very busy and rarely actually productive. Instead of filling up the time with tasks (usually ones that don’t really matter), productive people are selective about what they choose to do and plan strategically about when to do it. This typically results in a shorter to-do list with items that are actually completed effectively by the end of the day.

2. Are you prioritising?

While busy people are focused on any action, productive people are focused on the clarity and purpose of each action. Being selective about which courses of action are most important and focusing the right time and resources on those actions often results in more productive work being done in less time. You cannot jump aimlessly from one task to the next, hoping to get everything done. When you prioritise one task over another, always ask yourself, why am I choosing this task now? why must it come first? It’s a simple, but powerful question.

3. Are you tracking your progress?

Busy people have a tendency of equating action with accomplishment – you fit so many activities into one day, surely you must have accomplished something, right? If it takes you 20 steps to achieve something that could have taken you 5 steps, it’s obvious that you’re not using your time in the most productive way.

Productive people don’t stall their accomplishments by aimlessly tackling random tasks, they take the most strategic and direct path to achieving goals that are clearly defined and can therefore be tracked, measured and assessed with the help of detailed plans, deadlines and goals.  They want to see the return of investment in their time.

“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” ― Carl Sandburg

Anyone can make the transition from being busy to being productive, so you have no excuse! The first step to transitioning is being honest with yourself. Why are you always so busy? Why do you want to be so busy? Why do you want others to think you’re busy? How does your ‘being busy vs being productive’ affect your success?

These are all questions that you need to answer for yourself and be honest if you want to start onto the path of developing new productivity skills and techniques and therefore, more success in.

What things do you do to stay productive? Please leave your thoughts below!

Kirstin O’Donovan is a “multinational” productivity coach, author and founder of TopResultsCoaching an international company providing coaching services in nearly a dozen countries. With over 10 years working in the field of coaching and personal development, she provides her expertise to help individuals create the life and results they desire.   Kirstin also writes for various international publications in personal development. Kirstin, a certified NLP Practitioner, holds various qualifications, certificates and credentials related to personal and business coaching. She is the author of ‘Maximize your time to maximize your profit’ and Co-Author of ‘The Confident Woman’ and ‘There is GOLD inside YOU.’

Advertisement
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Rebecca Temsen

    Jan 24, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Cool post. Being busy always seems like the right thing to do at the time

  2. Probhat Kumar Paine

    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:56 am

    this is really great idea, people should implement and try to be effective instead of being busy.

  3. Profound Jitesh

    Oct 3, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Very informative blog, Just learned what is actually being productive and not to be just busy. Will keep you visiting regularly now. Thanks.

  4. Dan

    Oct 1, 2016 at 6:11 am

    Hey, wow so good said! please keep writing more amazing post like this one! so true and so huge problem I belive anyone has faced in one point or another

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

8 Essential Qualities That Define Great Leadership

Published

on

qualities of great leaders
Image Credit: Pixabay

Who is a leader? How do you identify and differentiate between a leader and a follower? The difference is quite obvious since a leader leads and a follower follows. However, there is more to it than this simple definition. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

How to Be Patient in Business for Long Term Success

Published

on

how to be patient in business
Image Credit: Pixabay

There’s perhaps no greater skill in business than patience. Some people have it while some people don’t. However, it can easily decide your success. Why is this? For the simple fact that everything that’s worthwhile takes years to cultivate. Name one person that’s an overnight success. There’s no such thing. It doesn’t matter if it was Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett, every successful entrepreneur hustled behind the scenes for years until they blew up. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Coaching Yourself Into Success: 3 Mindful Points That Accelerate Results

Published

on

how to accelerate results
Image Credit: Pixabay

Coaching yourself through your day is an outstanding way to dramatically improve your results. Of course, all types of coaching are good, but getting high-power coaching from top coaches is incredibly good and can take things beyond your wildest expectations. However, having coaches like that with you, constantly checking your mindset throughout your day, is either going to be hugely inconvenient for your work and relationships. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Why It’s So Important To Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

Published

on

Fear of Snakes

So I completed a Snake Handling course 6 years ago and during the final test of the course, we were asked to capture and bag 5 of Australia’s Deadliest snakes in a small confined room. The room had a Tiger Snake, Dugite, King Brown, Death Adder and a Red-Bellied Black Snake all slithering around at the same time. I couldn’t believe what I had got myself into.

Snakes were one of the biggest fears of mine. I would imagine a snake running underneath my feet from time to time and I would actually bring my feet up off the floor to avoid getting entangled or bitten by these imaginary snakes I had created in my mind. I would even have nightmares about snakes biting me and it would wake me up in sweats in the middle of the night.

I could have never imagined doing this in my life but I did it because I knew that I had to get passed this ridiculous fear I had of snakes, and I am grateful I was able to show up for it.

Checkout this podcast episode where I share how You can Master your Sub Conscious Programming around your fears in 2 Steps:

While attending this course, the subject of Fear was brought up and the presenter asked a number of people:

 

“What Are Your Top 5 Fears?”

– Public Speaking

– Cancer

– Sharks

– Snakes

– Heights

Were at the top of the list for most people.

 

The instructor carried on with a story of how he had just arrived back from a trip to the Northern Territory of Australia to visit an aboriginal community where he had met a 7-year-old boy who was absolutely scared to death of spiders and the dark.

Killer crocodile fearIt did not matter what kind of spider it is, he was scared and that was that. This boy would hunt crocodiles and lizards but was scared of even the non-venomous spiders.

All he had learned from a very young age was that spiders are dangerous and that they WILL kill you, yet the crocodiles and snakes that the boy would play with and hunt for are by far more deadly than most spiders that your everyday human would come across.

He was taught between the crucial years of 1-6 yrs old that the dark is full of evil happenings and that spiders are incredibly deadly and will kill him if he goes anywhere near them. So he was devastated to sleep in the dark and would jump on near by people just to get away from a spider nearby.

I’m not here to say that spiders aren’t dangerous, they are, and some out there have the potential to kill you. This boy was right to be cautious around spiders but where he lacked knowledge, or the right information about these creatures, eventually left him fearful of something he had never really understood.

This boy is just an example of many other people out there that are limited by their fears because of the little that they know. The less you know, the more fearful you are. This is only human and we are naturally scared of the unknown.

So the key thing here is we need more “KNOWLEDGE!” and it is in our best interest to want to understand how things work if we want to become less fearful of what the wild and wonderful world we live in has to offer.

You have to “EXPERIENCE” things to have a better understanding of the activity or whatever it is you are most scared of.

Joel Brown Snakes Fear

Joel Brown – Certified Snake Handler

When you increase your knowledge you can grow to the level where your fear is set at, so when the two meet it creates a level called “RESPECT”.

This is the perfect level to be on because you will now have a respect for what you fear which will allow you to then work with it rather than being submissive and missing out on the wonderful feeling of successfully OWNING! the outer areas of your comfort zone.

Everybody has a fear of some sort and learning more about what you fear and even voyaging through your ‘un-comfortable zone‘ will prepare you for the hard knocks in life on your road to success.

 

I have a few more fears to conquer myself and I am happy to say that I have crossed ‘Snakes’ and a number of other top things off my list. I’m sharing this story with you in hopes that you too will face at least one or two of your fears. Not to say that “you did it“, but to prove that you can outgrow your own personal limitations.

Your fears could be holding you back, they could even be the final piece you need to experience a brand new lifestyle or a brave new world of fun.

 

So get out there, learn more and grow!

 

No matter the storm, may your Faith be stronger than your Fears – Joel Brown

 

 

Feature Image Original Source: Indiana Jones – Raiders Of The Lost Ark

 

Continue Reading

Trending