Productivity vs. Busyness

August 9, 2022

Productivity vs. Busyness

“Don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many people are simply busy being busy.” – Robin Sharma

We live in a world where being busy is seen as admirable. According to research, our Western way of living is all about being stressed at work, frequent lack of sleep, poor diet, and getting little to no time for self-care and healthy socialization (Goodwin, 2022). We are too busy being busy or being seen as busy, that we don’t have time to be productive. 

By definition, productivity is the measure of efficiency. It answers the question, “How much work have you accomplished?” This leads us to a false belief that as long as we keep ourselves occupied with tasks, we are being productive. But if those things we are busy with don’t lead us closer to what we are working for—the things that matter to us, our goals and purpose—we are not being productive. We are just wasting time.

Time is precious and non-refundable. We all have 24 hours in our day, and once that time passes, we can’t get that back. That is why we should be more intentional about how we use our time.

Take a moment to reflect on the things that occupy your day. Are all those tasks bringing you closer to your goals? Are you spending your time wisely, or are you pushing tasks around and procrastinating? Are there tasks that are just wasting your time that you could otherwise spend on more important things: spending time with your family, taking care of your well-being, or doing more valuable tasks at work?

Create a system for yourself where you can maximize your productivity. Take off tasks on your to-do list that don’t serve you well. Delegate them to others if necessary. Be intentional about setting aside quality time for yourself and your loved ones. Focus on the things that matter and make sure that’s where you dedicate your precious hours.

When you are busy, you’ll find yourself frantic, rushed, doing shallow work, and focusing on the wrong things, such as perfectionism. But when you are productive, you are more focused, strategic, purposeful, doing deep work one task at a time, and overall more relaxed while being great at doing what’s important.

Once you switch from just being busy to becoming really productive, you find your environment starts to change too. Your family sees you more, and your relationships are deeper and more meaningful. You also feel happier overall, because now you can set aside time for yourself. And your workplace transforms too.

By empowering others to handle the tasks that are less important to your goals, you get to focus on more high-leverage work. Plus, when your team puts priority on building systems and working smart, overall productivity is boosted in your business too. When you are intentional and focused on your work, stress is lessened, and growth increases.

Choose to be productive over being busy. Be assertive about saying no to things that don’t serve your purpose. Reduce your distractions and don’t be afraid to let go of things that are unimportant.

Lastly, I leave you with this beautiful quote to sum it up:

“Productivity is the deliberate, strategic investment of your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resources, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to meaningful goals.” – Dan S. Kennedy

Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.