Are you being productive or just busy?

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

productive or busy

There’s a huge difference when you say you’re busy while when you say you’re productive. Busy people might be the hard workers of the lot, but the productive ones are the smartest of all.

Where busy people would look for perfectionism in their work, productive people look for the purpose. The busy people spend their entire day in doing in-depth research, trying to accrue all knowledge and learn all the possibilities on a piece of work, creating lengthy to-do lists, and trying to deliver results as pristine and as perfect as possible for them. This can lead to a wastage of lot of time and effort without producing anything tangible. 

This brings us to an inference that busy people might actually be over-thinkers, with an ability to expand their tasks at hand, and make it look like they have less time to complete their duties.

So, are you being actually productive at work or just busy?

Here are some basic rules to spot that –

1. Setting Priorities

Productive people are able to set their priorities in a more efficient manner by differentiating between short-term demands and long-term goals.

2. Adaptability

Productive people don’t view everything as something written on a rock or unchangeable. They improvise on-the-go and adapt to the changing requirements of their clients. For them a to-do list is not something where each and everything has to be done with meticulous planning and detailing. They are more action-oriented.

3. Goal Oriented

Productive people look at the big picture and they have a set vision in their mind, the final goal which they wish to accomplish. The roadmap is there, but it is not permanent, the route to accomplish the vision can be changed on the fly.

4. Work-Life Balance

Where busy people focus on just work, productive people spare some playtime too. Various researches have been linked to higher productivity for organisations that provide a work-life balance. Busy people need to learn that work should not be the only source of happiness in their life.

5. Acceptance of Failure

Productive people have a clear definition of success in their head and they can accept failure with ease. However, busy people are lost in their self-created measures of success and definitions of doing work with perfection.

Here are four basic rules of thumb that can help you to be more productive at work and not just busy –

• Focus on one thing at the moment in your to-do list

• Schedule your calendar efficiently

• Set smaller goals that are attainable

• Eliminate distractions and concentrate on the task at hand