How to be productive instead of busy! Welcome to Inspired to Greatness... the show all about spreading inspiration, motivation, and being great., I am your host, Matt Blake I hope you are having an amazing day, my friends! Today we are talking about ‘Being Productive instead of Busy’!! QUOTE: "Focus on being productive instead of busy." - Tim Ferris Tim Ferris is the author of The 4-Hour work week… a book that changed my entire outlook on running a business and being efficient. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you check it out. I have made thousands of dollars in extra money by employing a few of the techniques I learned in that book. Now… about being productive, instead of busy. We all know someone that is always busy… always has a hundred things to do, but never seems to get anything substantial done… sometimes, maybe, we ARE that person. It’s not our fault… we are trained to be busy, or said better, to look busy. When we are in school and we finish our work we are told to find something else to do… when we get to work if we finish our work we are given other assignments… We are trained to keep busy all the time, no matter what it is we are getting done… if we work productively or efficiently then we are ‘rewarded’ with more work! But, the real money is made in being productive… not busy. Busy work includes things like tiding up your desk, filing paperwork, TPS reports, making lists, etc… I once had a job at a company that was pretty poorly organized. I have always been a quick worker, especially when I was a production designer… So I was able to handle my normal workload in about half the time of other employees in my department… so it often looked like I wasn’t getting anything done because I was often ‘done’ working. So my supervisor asked me to keep track of everything I did for a week… so I did. I made a list of every little thing I did, I started finding little things to do so that I could add them to my list. I even included “listing my daily tasks” on my list of daily tasks… honestly, there were things on that list that only took 15 seconds to do… and that dumb list was something that took longer than most of the things I did to stay “busy”… at the end of the week, I was an expert at being “busy”. But appearing twice as busy for an entire week I actually got less done than a normal week. My supervisor was happy because they had a long list of tasks that I had completed, but in reality, I got about 10% less of the work done on actual projects that week. For the sake of being busy, I was no longer productive. Being productive means focusing on one task at a time, working without distractions, and working on things that create income. Here are some examples of things that make you productive: Checking email at only set times, avoiding meetings, Delegating tasks, and setting a daily schedule. Pick important tasks and focus on those… let the small, meaningless busywork go. If it’s not mission critical then you don’t need to work on it to be productive. Work with the big picture in mind, what tasks will have the most impact on your long-term goals, when choosing what to work on have a macro approach. But, plan based on the micro… plan your day down to the minute. Break your daily calendar, your schedule, down to 5-minute increments, instead of 30 or 60. Know exactly how long you are going to spend responding to email in the morning, then move on, the email will still be there for you to respond to later when it’s time to be back in your inbox. If you can avoid interruptions from email and phone calls during the day, and play to return those messages at set times, then you will be way ahead of the normal productivity curve. Working on things that you are passionate about will also help you remain productive… so as soon as you can move your career into a field or position that you love the better off you will be. And you can also become productive by building systems that shorten the time it takes to do your work. Taking 3 hours to build a spreadsheet might not sound productive… but if it allows you to be more productive in the long run, then it’s time well spent. Once you become more productive you will have more time to complete everything, because you are using your time more efficiently. And one thing this allows is a better work/life balance. Keeping a good balance will help you be productive by lowering stress and helping you focus… which will help you be more productive… which will give you more time for work/life balance… which will help you focus… get it? Don’t work to be busy… work to be efficient and productive. Don’t fill your days with meaningless busy work… delegate or skip things that don’t impact your bottom line, schedule your email and phone calls, and watch your productivity skyrocket. Thanks for joining me on Inspired to Greatness, please check back with us each and every weekday for fresh tips and on our Thursday shows for new guests and extended topics. Visit our website at ITGPodcst.com and Look for us on Spreaker, iTunes, iHeart, and Spotify…. I get may earn commissions for purchases made through some of the links in this show. 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