[su_dropcap style=”flat”]D[/su_dropcap]O YOU UNDERSTAND the difference between being busy and being productive? It’s common to have conversations with people that are just “so busy” They run from one thing to another, and talk about how busy they are.
Often these individuals thrive on the attention they get from being “so busy”….they have a false sense of accomplishment. However, are they actually accomplishing what they desire and are they getting ahead?
As an entrepreneur, it is vital that you spend your time effectively, and not waste it on things that are not important to your business growth. It’s important to distinguish the difference between doing things for the sake of doing them, often due to habit, or believing this is the way that “everyone” does it, or, thinking out of the box and eliminating the habits, and only focus on doing things that are actually productive. Many years ago, I learned a powerful distinction – only do things that lead me towards my goal.
How does this look?
When arranging my schedule, I look at how much time I have and what my goals are for that day. I only do things that lead me towards those goals. I recognize if I am doing something that doesn’t contribute to my goals, I am making the wrong decisions and am getting stuck in being busy, not productive.
I prioritize the tasks that are most important and do those first thing in the day. I then fit everything else I am responsible for around that.
I use a daytimer faithfully! I have a paper daytimer with a month at a glance, and also a week at a glance, broken down by day in 15 min increments. I schedule everything! My work, my fitness, my family, my dog, my hobbies, everything you can think of. This is a way to know if you have over scheduled and can’t possibly get everything done, or, if you have space somewhere you can squeeze something in. It may sound a bit anal, but I have done this for over 30 yrs and it has been highly effective. I have the peace of mind knowing when I get through my list for the day, I am done.
I also use a diary system to keep track of things I want to remember and things I have to do. Each morning I pull out my file for the day and everything I have to remember is in that file. It works hand in hand with my daytimer, and allows me to stay on top of things, and remember points I wouldn’t normally.
Something else that has been highly effective for me is working ahead on tasks. For instance, when you are in a productive state, it is easier to get more done in a short time, then if you wait to do the task when it is actually time to do it. One way I have implemented this is with my weekly podcasts. When I sit down to do a podcast, I have my equipment all ready to go, and find I am in the peak state of mind to do them. I record 4-10 at a time because I have already done all the set up work. I can then pull from the archives I have filed each week. It takes far less time to do them this way, and if I have a week where I have other commitments or maybe not feeling the right energy to record, I don’t miss a beat….the podcast is already done and waiting to be released. I use this strategy on many business tasks like this, also in keeping my home in order, gift buying, everything you can think of. It’s so simple to implement this strategy into everything we do, but so overlooked by most, including myself until about 4 years ago.
Being productive rather than busy is important to your business growth. Without this awareness, you will be spinning your wheels, wasting time, and missing opportunity because you think you don’t have time. When we are productive, we seem to gain more time, be more relaxed, and are able to engage in things “busy” people just don’t seem to have time for.