Being Productive vs. Being Busy

01. September 2017

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We live in a world where people work copious hours. This happens for weeks, months, and years. Yet, sometimes they don’t stop to look at what they’re doing. Are they being productive or are they being busy?

Being productive and being busy aren’t the same. They’re entirely different. One gets you to where you wish to go and the other holds you back. Just being busy can hold you back from living your ideal life.

To live the life, you desire, focus on productivity. You might pass it aside and believe it’s easy. Keep telling yourself you’re on the right track. You’re riddled with a to-do list that’d take weeks to carry out. Overstressed and going nowhere. This is where you can end up. Once you understand the difference being productive and being busy, will your life change.

I’d been working fourteen hours a day, but getting nowhere. Unsure of what to do, I reached out to best-selling author Jon Gordon. His name kept coming to me when I was looking for advice.

He gave me advice and a recommendation of his book: The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work. I slid my fingers over the last words in the book and closed it, ruminating over what I learned. A point in my life where I had multiple businesses going, but not advancing. It was in that moment; I shut down one business, started the action of another and went full-swing into Become The Lion.

I came to find after deep-soul searching this was my passion. To help others, but that wouldn’t happen if I was busy.

Are you growing and learning? There will be tasks you have to do for your business but can delegate them. Ask yourself, did I advance myself today? Another question I ask, is this going to make me richer? Emails aren’t productive, but creating a new course is.

Having too many activities 

You can overload yourself with ten tasks to do, unconducive to your success. You’ll spread yourself too thin. Days can turn into months. Focus stands for, follow one course until successful. You’ll see these opportunities but stick to the one you cherish.

When you find what youre passionate for, then you can turn to being productive instead of busy.

Do you remember what your priority is? It’s leaving the world a better place because you were here. That can’t happen if you’re busy. Each night, before the start of a fresh day, write three – five tasks in order you’d prefer to complete. Add nothing to this list until you complete the tasks you set.

People have audacious goals each day. Realize your progress compiled over a lifetime is bountiful. You need not write a book, create a course, learn a language, start a business in one day. Results are created over time.

Start with writing your book, then onto creating a course. If you try to do them at once, none of them will be completed. You’ll start projects that never get finished. You read a book, then jumped to another without finishing the other book? This a terrible habit we need to break, one I have in my life.

What can you do today that’ll give you a better tomorrow? It can be as simple as making a phone call, writing five-hundred words, or spending an hour taking a course.

Think through things 

In a world that’s fast paced, unproductive people don’t think through their actions. They’re the people who say “yes.” The successful learn the art of saying “no.” You don’t have to please everyone. If they get disheartened, they’ll forgive you in time.

This is your life and your time. If you don’t manage it, someone will. Is what you’re doing today suitable for achievement a future goal? You can get caught in a routine that isn’t ideal for your success.

At the first sight of daylight, ask yourself, will what I’m doing advance my situation? People will ask you favors. Opportunities will arise. If you’re not careful, you’ll be in an uncomfortable predicament. Don’t forget who you’re supporting. You can help everyone and forget yourself.

Start focusing 

There comes a point where you can no longer make any excuses. You need to focus on what you’re doing. Kill the distractions. Create a designated time every day where no one can interrupt you unless it’s an emergency.

The hardest part is getting started. Whether reading, writing a blog post, or creating a vlog. The task won’t be daunting when you release yourself into it’s illustrious creativity. You’re not meant to be perfect and neither will work your work.

 “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King

Happiness comes for meaningful work. Outsource the work you don’t wish to do. Focus on creating value and as much great content as you can. Is your voice being heard? Every person has a message that needs to be shared. You can either keep it captive or set it free.

Develop a routine of starting work at the same time each day, you’ll be more productive. The time where your creativity explodes.

Have results talk

Let your results do the talking for your endeavors. You can talk for writing a book, or you can write the book. You can go on social media. Until you sit and get to work, nothing gets accomplished. Many people tell me what they will do.

Every New Year, people talk for change. Ninety-two percent of those people fail. It’s easy when you talk, it’s hard doing the work. Opportunity is dressed in overalls and looks a lot like work.

If it was easy, everyone would be successful. Your friends want you to come party. Your girlfriend or boyfriend wishes to watch a show with you. At each corner of your life, they’ll be something trying to pull you back to average. Most of the world is average. What do they get? They hate their life, living for the weekend. You’re reading this because you don’t desire to be that person.

Have a top priority 

Make a time to focus on your top priority. If you’re writing a book. Set 5am – 7am each morning to write. A place to entwine your thoughts and energy into your work. If the rest of your day doesn’t go as planned, at least you completed your top priority.

Life is fickle. It’s rare it ever works in the way we wish or the right time frame. You’ll get an opportunity when you least expect. You fall in love with someone you couldn’t see yourself dating.

Events come up that we couldn’t predict. Sometimes your attention is needed elsewhere. If you complete your top priority, you’ve won the day.

Take your time responding to messages 

With email and text flowing effortlessly, take your time responding. Turn off your devices, cast away social media. You spend a whole day and get nothing done. You thought you worked ten hours when it was only four.

Your time is precious. Understand the difference between when its work and when to relax. If possible, never use your phone during working hours unless it’s for business.

An email Inbox can garner your attention. If you don’t answer right away that person won’t care for you. This is a trick on our psychology. Because you took a few hours to respond that person will not hate you.

I recommend setting designated times to check your email. Try only three times per day. If you wish not to disturb people by your standoffish, set up an email auto-responder and let them know the times you’ll respond.

The less distractions you have the more productive you are. If you’re going between work and distractions, you work will pay.

Set Goals 

How are you supposed to know where to go in life without goals? Goals are a destination we wish to be. Without them, we meander through life. You should set goals every day for yourself. What you want to accomplish. From there, you progress into deeper goals, weekly, monthly and so on.

 “It is not enough to be busy… The question is: what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau 

With goals, you can focus on being productive. Center your day with goals that empower you, making you experience aliveness. Goals shape you into the person you want to become. They’re created for a reason. Productivity depends on the goals you set each day.

You have the choice to be productive or busy. Stop and take a full encompass of your life. Are you where you want to be, doing what you love? If you aren’t, you might be too busy. You can be so busy making a living you forget to make a life.

A productive person is one who understands their destination. Their focused and are imminent on completing the task at hand. They aren’t negative if they are unproductive. Everyone has an off day. Will you let that define you? 

When you’re productive instead of busy, you live a more fulfilling life.

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