Are You Busy or Productive?
When someone asks you “how’s business?” how do you respond?
Busy? Flat out? Exhausting?
If you can relate to these responses, chances are you’re busy.
Busy looks like this…
- Always doing things
- Long to-do lists with lots of someday maybe actions
- Working long hours
- Easily distractible with the next idea
- Struggling to meet commitments or always coming up with circumstantial excuses for why you haven’t got the work done
Busy feels frustrated, anxious and overwhelmed. Busy is bad, not to mention unsustainable.
How do I know? I’ve lived there.
I’ve put in the long hours, working solidly from dawn to dusk, weekdays, weekends and public holidays. Just trying to keep up with my clients and to-do list.
But not anymore. I got smart and now I’m productive.
Productive looks like this…
- Distraction free
- Planning for results
- Making things happen
- Meeting your commitments
Productive feels calm, capable and effective. Productive is good, aim for productive.
Wondering how to make the switch from busy to productive? I’ve got you covered in just three steps.
1. Get clear on your goals
Set clear and divisive goals, like your reasons, turn obstacles into strategies, plan it out and celebrate small wins. If you need a refresher, I’ve written a whole blog post on this topic here.
2. Kill your distractions
Distractions are the quickest and most effective way to kill productivity.
Studies show that when we are focusing on a task and interrupted it takes our brains an average of 23 minutes to return to the same level of focus we had before the interruption. So to do the math for a moment, if you’re receiving 20 alerts per day, you’re essentially looking at around 7.5 hours of unfocused work time per day. That’s an extraordinary number of productive hours lost!
When it’s time to work, switch your phone to silent, turn off your notifications, log out of your social media accounts and close your email program. I promise the world won’t stop turning while you’re unavailable.
3. Reset your mindset (again and again and again…)
You’ve heard me say it again and again – Your thoughts create your feelings, which drive your actions, which create your results.
The truth of the matter is that you’re not always going to want to do what you said you will. You may have that task scheduled for today but you didn’t sleep well… have a headache… have other things on your mind… have something else more important to do.
Expect that your brain is going to throw excuses at you, and be prepared to do the work anyway. Avoiding and delaying work has an accumulative effect. One hour turns into one day, which becomes one week and even a month.
When the going get’s tough – review your reasons and strategies from step 1 and keep going.
Draw on your compelling reasons to create the feelings you need, to power your actions, and produce the results that get you closer to your goals.