There is a large misconception that being busy and being productive are the same thing but that is so not true! Today we are going to break down the difference between being busy and being productive. After learning the difference we will teach you how to be more productive and less busy for a better life!
What’s the difference between being productive and being busy?
The major difference between being busy and being productive is what are you accomplishing. Being busy just means you are filling every minute of your day with lots of tasks and always committing your time to doing something.
VS. being productive is more mindful of what tasks can help you accomplish your goals in an efficient manner.
It really comes down to the fact that being busy is only about accomplishing a lot vs being productive is about efficiently accomplishing the right tasks to achieve more of your goals!
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Tips for being productive not busy:
Tip 1: Evaluate how you spend your time
The first and arguably most important tip is to take a few days to evaluate how you are spending your time.
You may not fully realize how busy and NOT productive you are until you look at how you are actually spending your time. So you can’t improve your productivity unless you know how your time is genuinely being spent.
Get an hourly planner (like this one) and jot down what you did every hour for a couple of days. Yes, it is a little time consuming but it will be worth it for you to learn what you spend your precious time on.
Once you have completed this step you can use the information for acting upon the tips below!
Tip 2: Learn when to say no
If you are going to live a less busy and more productive life you absolutely need to prioritize your time better and learn to say no to things that are hurting/not helping you achieve your dreams.
This is a complex concept. You want to prioritize yourself without hurting others and still helping your coworkers or loved ones. I have an entire guide on learning to say no that I recommend you checking out if you struggle with saying no!
Tip 3: Work on your time management skills
The next tip for improving your productivity is to work on improving your time management skills.
There are so many little parts to this that I broke down in this 14 day guide to improve time management but any steps you take to improve your time management is so important for improving productivity.
Take this tip day by day. Improving your time management is a life long journey just like improving your productivity and it is something you will have to make a consistent priority.
Tip 4: Always use a daily to do list
The next major tip for being less busy and more productive is to use a daily to do list. If you are just blindly doing tasks without a prioritize to do list then you will spend your day frantically busy but not genuinely productive.
I advise starting every day with a prioritized to do list. I use a little notepad like this one and write down everything to do that day and then I go through and number the list to prioritize it.
By having a daily to do list and prioritizing it will help you accomplish the most important tasks and also determine what is the most productive use of your time at the beginning of the day.
Tip 5: Learn to take strategic breaks
Strategic breaks are so important for staying productive. If you try to grind for 14 hours straight you will quickly lose steam.
Even if you are being “busy” for 14 hours you won’t be productive the whole time which is where strategic breaks come into play. If you take strategically timed breaks for controlled periods of time you can seriously improve your productivity.
For more on this then check out this guide to correctly taking breaks!
Tip 6: Monitor your phone time
If you are getting sucked into hours of mindless phone time you will never truly be productive. But it is so easy to get caught up on scrolling through social media and glancing at your emails occasionally and feeling “busy” but that’s not being productive.
If you can’t control your phone time to just during breaks then remove your phone from your line of vision or even remove it from your work space!
Spending too much time on your phone is one of the #1 productivity killers.
Tip 7: Always have measurable goals
Finally, if you want to increase your actual productivity and be less busy then you need to take the time to ensure that you have measurable goals.
In order to make actual progress towards your goals you need to make sure that your goals are written and measurable.
You need to write down your short term and long term goals. When you have them written down then you can look back at them regularly and you can also then make actionable steps to achieve those dreams.
Actionable steps are essential for achieving your goals and achieving your goals is what being more productive is all about!
So go out and use these tips to start living a more productive and less busy life!