I’ve written about this before, the scene where we become captivated in a “I’m too busy cycle” leading to this idea that we are always productive and always busy but then wonder how the hell have we not moved forward yet?
Productivity and being busy are two very different yet easily mistaken concepts. Busy does not actually clarify if you are achieving anything worthwhile however working productively will result in measurable actions, the ability to divert or tweak approaches and the ability to check things off the damn list that has you so ‘busy.’
For whatever reason, the idea that we are busy has become one of status and I get it, I’ve been caught up in this too and just to clarify you can be busy AND productive (hello small business owners). The problem arises when you start to avoid what really matters and focus on the small stuff that can fill in your hours but not ever really launch you toward your goals.
This concept can be applied to anything in life; work, relationships, training and study. So how do we re-align with our goals and ensure that we are taking productive action? Well read on…
Set out the end goal (and all the mini goals in between)
You can fluff about all you like but if the action you are taking does not actually align with your goal you are just wasting time. Once you have the BIG goal set out, break it up into monthly, weekly, daily tasks. Over time consistency will pay off and you will be able to adjust your approach to that end goal but at the end of the day, you do not get anywhere overnight but structure, trial and error as well as some persistence will help you reach that end goal.
Do the important stuff
We all have the important stuff that needs to get done (ugh.. hello finances) and even though we may not always want to do it, it still matters. So make time to do it or delegate it, whatever you need to do but just do not ignore it.
Call yourself out on your bullshit
Call yourself out on your own bullshit. Are you really too busy or is something just not a priority? Or maybe you just need to regroup your thoughts and action plans (happens to all of us), know when you are fluffing about and know when you can afford to do that and when you simply cannot.
Change your language
How often do you find yourself saying “I had such a busy day today” or “I’m just so busy”, I have started changing my language to help shift this mindset and rather than busy, I will always say “I’ve had a productive day” or “I achieved some of those pesky tasks”, this changes the way I feel about my day and takes away that heart racing, a little anxiety provoking ‘busy mindset’.
Not every day will be a 100% day, some days you will just want to sloth it or do the really easy tasks (which also need to get done so they do not become a big issue) and that is absolutely fine but know what is and is not worth your valuable time. I do not mean that in an entitled princess way, I mean really know what is important and what needs to happen to launch you forward and do not cheat yourself into thinking busy equals productive - they are two very different concepts with sometimes two very different meanings. Choose your language wisely.