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Are You Busy or Productive?

Do you ever find yourself making excuses to not tackle a task or complete a goal because you are “too busy”? While being productive can keep one very busy, being busy does not always equate to being productive. In today’s hectic, cluttered society it is easy to find oneself buried under mountains of little chores and errands as we are pulled in a multitude of directions. We put our heads down and work excessively only to look up and find hours, days, months, or even years have gone by with nothing of genuine importance accomplished. So, what distinguishes a busy person from a productive person? Here are a few key differences between the personalities.

Do You Have a Mission?

It has been said that a productive person knows what their mission is in life and what they have set out to achieve. Whereas, a busy person is directionless – they believe if they stay busy then it will appear that they have a mission.

How Many Priorities Do You Have?

It is important to take the time to figure out what your true priorities are in life. Productive people tend to have a few key priorities which they focus their energy on instead spreading themselves too thin over multiple priorities. In this case, less is definitely more.

Are You a Yes-Man?

Do you say “yes” to everything people ask for? The boss wants you to work weekends, the significant other wants you to go shopping, your mother needs a lift to the grocery store, etc. Have you forgotten what you actually want to say yes to? Remember that it is okay to say “no” when you find yourself feeling overburdened.

Are You Too Available?

Busy people often say that they prefer to keep all available options open just in case one might come to fruition. While in theory this seems like a positive optimistic approach to life, propping too many doors open inevitably leads to a stalemate with making progress in any one direction. As with priorities, productive people make a conscious decision to eliminate the options that are, truthfully, not viable so that they can focus their energy on the ones that have the highest likelihood of realization.

Do You Make Time?

Do you find yourself complaining constantly about how little you have or do you consciously make the time for the important things in life? Excuses take just as much energy as commitment – if you want to transform your “busy” into “progress” choose to make the time instead of squandering it lamenting your lack of time.

Do You Redefine Multitasking?

Busy people take the greatest of pride in the ability to multitask. They love to brag about how they are working on two work projects while answering the phone, making coffee, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, and ordering dinner, all at the same time. But is this productive? While from a distance it may appear that this person is achieving a tremendous amount, they are, again, spreading themselves too thin. Focus on one task at a time and do the best possible job. Then move on to the next.

Would you call yourself “busy” or “productive” and why? Tweet to me @Gabrielle_Faust.


This article was originally written by myself, for Michelle Prince's motivational speaking blog in 2015. I hope you will also find it highly interesting and useful.

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