Being Productive vs. Being Busy
We are working very hard. We are working long hours on our business. Parents don’t have enough time to play with kids because they are busy. We don’t have time to nurture important relationships because we are busy. We don’t have the quality of life we would like because we are exhausted from being busy, busy, BUSY!
If you are busy, you may think that you are being productive and accomplishing a lot. The problem is that the busy work for most people isn’t focused on the things that need to be done.
Switch your focus from being busy to being productive so that you can accomplish more, see tangible results and have time for fun!
Here are 7 changes you can make to switch from being busy to being productive:
- Have a to-do list for things that MUST get done today. MUST is the key word. This is where a lot of people go wrong. They sit down to make a list, and they keep adding and adding, all the things they should’ve done, all the things they want to do, and all the things they wish they could do. They end up with a mile long list, and find it so daunting that any motivation for tackling it disappears. “MUST get done today” list should have no more than 3-8 items, depending on how big they are, and depending on your lifestyle. They should not be the things that everyone has to do. For example, grocery shopping, picking up kids etc. – they don’t belong on this list because you have to do them and you are going to do them.
- Learn Single Tasking. It doesn’t mean that you just work on one thing for weeks or months until you finish it. You can still have variety. It only means that while you are working on a particular task, for that duration of time, you work on that task and that task alone. If it’s important to you, if it adds value to your long-term goals, takes you closer to fulfilling that dream, then give it the attention it deserves.
- Get a MOM Diary. Why? Well, the MOM Diary has many items to help you be more productive such as a Goal Setting Section, Goal Collage area, Daily Goal Evaluation Section and Daily Gratitude Section. List your main goals. If you have life goals, list them, otherwise list your annual goals. Then, each day, write down your “MUST get done today” list. Write down how it went. Did you finish everything? How did you feel while you were working on these tasks? Did you feel charged and enthusiastic or did it feel like a chore? Look for the patterns. Are there particular times in the day when you feel more productive? Do some people’s company spur you towards your goals but others have a negative impact?
- Only check emails a few times per day. Close Outlook, log off the internet or turn off the cell phone. Do whatever you have to and stop the “You’ve got mail!” messages. It’s not helping. Try to check your email only twice a day: once at 10AM and once at 4pm.
- Minimize your time on the phone. Schedule this to a few times per day. Have a voice-mail message that clearly states when you will return phone calls. Be consistent and put off returning calls unless urgent. Have an emergency phone where people can reach you. Be brief and to the point if they call this number. If you only have one primary line, let the calls to go voice-mail and then return them later. The point is not to interrupt what you’re doing. Finish it before going on to your next important thing.
- Keep meetings brief or stay out of them completely. Ask for a meeting agenda before every meeting and decline if you find it irrelevant.
- Stay off Social Media – What?? I know how important Social Media is. I know it’s here to stay and essential for building relationships with customers and building a business BUT Learning how to use Social Media for your growing business will help you spend LESS time on the various networks. Contact the Web Assistant to attend their next Social Media workshop.
We’re not always going to be productive, and that’s important. While being engaged in the process of creation is nourishing and invigorating, there are times when we need to be neither busy, nor productive. We just need to be.
Being Productive is so important. Important for our sanity and important because it allows us to rest and focus on what is most important – Our Family.