Are You Productive or Merely Busy?
Do you think being busy is a good thing? I don’t think so and here’s why. Being busy, or "busyness," is not the same as being productive. Same holds true for activity vs. action.
Activities are aimless and result in "busyness," while actions are purposeful and lead to productivity. Activities reduce your morale, whereas actions enhance it. Morale is best defined as “sense of well being or high spirits.”
Therefore, busy people often feel unfulfilled and unhappy, while productive people are happy and satisfied. What separates busy people from productive individuals is how they approach their daily life. Busy people begin many tasks but seldom finish any of them, whereas productive people complete each task with focus and determination.
Can you find some examples of activities and actions as they relate to your life? Remember, actions get you closer to your goals and activities set you farther away. Actions are aligned with your purpose and make you feel better, while activities are unrelated to your objectives and make you feel worse.
Here are two tips to transform yourself from being busy to being productive.
- Write down your tasks each day and do your very best to bring each to a successful completion. If any are left undone by day's end, carry it over with awareness and continue your actions the next day. If it's no longer a part of your action plan, cross it off your list. This way you free up your attention to use for something more important.
- When you're asked how things are, your answer ought to be "I'm staying productive", instead of "I'm very busy". Words have enormous power over our behavior. For instance, in America we use the term disposable income, which denotes the money left over after all expenses are paid for. And what do most Americans do with their disposable income? Well, you guessed it. They can’t wait to throw it away! The same concept in Japan is called discretionary income. Since discretion indicates prudence and power of choice, most Japanese save their money. Now that you know words have power, I encourage you to use them wisely and carefully.