Being Busy vs. Being Productive

Being Busy Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in various seminars and discussions in support of National Small Business Week that was sponsored our local Small Business Center here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The array of offerings were outstanding and provided lots of takeaways to help any small business to grow and thrive.

One roundtable discussion in particular that I took part in was a discussion about Being Busy vs. Being Productive. Now we all fall into either one of these two scenarios at some point doing our day. As a group we brainstormed and discussed some of the things that we do or could do help us to be a little more productive and a little less busy.

We as a group came up with over 25 points to help with being more productive rather than just being busy.   I will share those points over the course of a 3-part blog.


Some of us find it hard to say no. Learn to say NO if at the time you are being productive it is not helping you to add to your bottom line. If you don’t learn to say NO sometimes then your bottom line will definitely suffer. Not saying no could definitely cause you not to be productive but instead be busy.


Santa makes a list and checks it twice, so why not do the same. Create a list of tasks/goals that you want to accomplish for that particular day or week. Check off the tasks as you are going along. Make sure that you are checking your list often to make sure you are on task. Having your tasks/goals written down, now causes you to more accountable to those tasks/goals. And accountability can equal to more productivity.


If you suffer the Forgetful-itis, Lack of Focus-itis, or any other “itis”, you need to find something that will help you stay focused. There are apps, books and programs that can help you focus on being more productive. For me I have an app and I have a timer that I use. I work in 1-hour segments and then I stop for 15 minutes to take a break. Make sure you walk away from what you doing so, that they you can feel a sense of disconnecting and then reconnecting.

Soft music can help you stay focused, working in a quiet spot and there are many others. You have to find whatever it will take to make you stay focus on the tasks/goals you want to accomplish. Because a more focused mind can definitely cause more productivity.


Having a dedicated workspace can help work wonders on being productive. If you are sitting on the couch in front of the TV how productive can you really be. If you are not fortunate to have an office or a desk, then use the kitchen table, or some other make shift area that you can set up like your temporary office. Make sure this spot is free from distractions. This dedicated workspace can give you a sense of structure which could definitely her increase your productivity.


I cannot stress how taking a mental break or breaks can help to renew your mind.   You find this true especially if you have put in many hours working on the same thing. After a while your mind tunes out and begins to wonder. You begin to suffer from Adult ADHD so to speak.   It vital that you take breaks and walk away from what you are doing.   This allows your mind to rest, digest the information and regroup itself. You might find that your break might just refresh you enough to figure out a problem you might have run into or even help you to complete the task more efficiently now that you have a second boost of energy.


Write down your short-term goals or even your long-term goals.   Put them in a place that is visible to you on a daily basis.   The more you look at your goals the more you will work on trying to accomplish them because you are faced with a daily reminder of them.


The saying goes when you fail to plan you plan to fail. If you don’t put a deadline on your goals/task then how can you really be working toward them?   If you set a goal to get 5 new customers and you don’t set a deadline to meet those goals how will you hold yourself accountable for meeting that goal?   Having a clear deadline to meet your goals could help you to significantly meet and achieve them.


Whatever it is that is distracting you from being productive you need to try to eliminate the distractions.   If decide you are going to be productive for an hour then you need to make sure that you remove anything that will prohibit you from working distraction free for that hour. Whether is be answering the phone, answering emails or whatever the case, you need to figure out what things are causing you not to be productive.


Stop putting things off. Stop letting things get in the way. Just stop doing what wasn’t working and start doing what is working. Just do what you need to do be productive, plain and simple.

So which of these points do you use or could use be more productive.

Jacqueline Morgan is an advocate for business success. As a business leader I strongly believe in tapping into the power of your potential. As President of J Morgan Designs and Consulting, she can help your business to strive in both the real world and online. Find out more about her at


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