During a conference at one of my former jobs, the speaker talked about busy versus productive. Those are three very powerful words to me. Busy Versus Productive. I never thought about it until I heard this lecture. I always thought of myself as “busy” but lumped “productive” in with it. Heck, if I’m busy then I’m also productive, right?
Wrong…in my case, anyway.
I am a very busy person, but I am not very productive at times. I get things done; if there’s something I need to do for one of my own children’s books for publishing, I get it done; if it’s housework I have to do, I get it done; if I have filing or typing for my full-time job, I get it done. But I allow distractions to get in the way, such as emails, phone calls, other jobs, etc.
Let me explain. When I do housework, it’s crazy. I start in one room but get distracted as soon as I walk into the next, and therefore, forget what I was doing in the previous room. When I am writing, I get a new idea and jump over to that and leave the other to sit until I get back to it…someday. If I’m filing at work and take a phone call, I don’t get back to filing; I jump on whatever I need to do for the person who called instead of prioritizing.
Are you busy or productive? I think you can be both but prioritizing is a key word. I learned from my former job that if you’re at your desk working on a project/task, don’t check your emails every time one comes through your inbox. Set aside time for emails; set aside time for returning phone calls; set aside time for organizing your day. If you do that, you’ll find yourself way more productive. In fact, they suggested starting each day with about an hour of planning time. Focus on that day’s tasks or the tasks for that week. Organize, plan, prioritize. Then start your day.
So…I will try this yet again. I was doing well for a while but fell back into my “busy” mode and I find myself feeling crazy like I’m not getting anything done!
Take a step back, take a deep breath, and ask yourself…are you busy or productive?