Busy Vs Productive - Which one are you?
Being busy was one of the things I aspired to be. This was during my days in college and during the struggling days of my life. This was mostly because people around me were busy and all I would listen to them say was how busy they are. It disturbed me to the core and somewhere made me feel so worthless, because no matter what I did I would always find myself “free”.
I’d come to believe that being busy and being productive was the same. Never did it cross my mind that there’s a big difference between the two.
Yes! they’re not the same…
Are you shocked too!?
I can Imagine…
I was working at this place where we had to work for long hours, but we didn’t produce any definitive result or made a specific progress or change. It was a night mare to work at such a place, I was in fact busy and the initial days were fine but slowly it started to annoy me and stress me out. I kept asking myself if this is what being busy really is, why is it such a big deal and more importantly why do people like it so much? Being busy in some way had become this norm and an evaluation tool and those who were laid back or let’s just be blunt and say, who were free, were assumed to be worthless. I’ve been one of the worthless one’s as well.
In today’s times with the internet and social media, there’s enough evidence of how “busy” people are…never mind that they’re on Instagram posting away. This evidence or public display of busyness has disturbed many many people. At the beginning it did disturb me and I kept wondering why aren’t I so busy? But in some ways, I’m glad I’m not “Busy” I’ve found a way to be productive with my time and schedule and I'm doing okay.
I was coaching a client quite recently, who told me she wanted to be just as busy as this woman she was following on Instagram. She kept telling me
“When will I become as busy as she is?” or “How will I be as busy as she is?”
Another client who bought a wellness course from me and worked on it told me, she is self-aware but wants to be busy but somehow always seems to find so much free time.
I wasn’t quite surprised because I used to feel and say exactly what they were saying and feeling. If you feel this way too then you’ll find this blog post quite useful.
In today’s post I want to share what I’ve learnt regarding being productive. And how different can it be from being busy.
So, let’s get started.
Focus one thing at a time – What do I mean by this? It means to be fully present to the task at hand. For e.g., when working on a computer a busy person will have many tabs open and would ideally be juggling all of them but an effective person has only those tabs open which really need their attention or are useful to them. When I write an article, I usually take a look at the current research on the topic I’m about to write about, it’s a part of the process and helps me get the facts right but earlier I would have a million tabs open that has got nothing to do with the task at hand. Similarly, in your other activities, try to stay focused on the task at hand. This doesn’t mean you can’t do more things in day, in fact working in this manner gives you more than enough time to focus on all the other things that require your attention.
Small tasks will lead to big results – This is something where most people find it difficult. In my career I’ve trained, coached and worked with many women who tend to work extremely harder and not smarter. They work long hours and still don’t seem to get much work done. The problem isn’t the task it’s the way you work towards it. People tend to work on a big task which occupies a lot of time, you tend to work long hours, skip meals, put your body through a really tough time and don’t necessarily achieve the goal. The way to go about this is to break bigger tasks into smaller ones. For e.g., Publishing a blog post for instance is a huge task. Even though each person does it differently this requires a lot of time and energy and focus but when you break it into smaller tasks, you’re more likely to publish it on time and have an amazing post.