We like to feel as though we are accomplishing things in business and life. This often leads us to brag about how busy we are.

But is being busy the same things as being productive?

The reality is that it might not be. Just because you scurry about with a lot to do doesn’t mean that you accomplishing anything worthwhile. If you want your business to be a success, you need to understand the difference between busy-ness and productivity.

Just Busy

Do you feel like you are running around taking care of a lot of things, but your to-do list doesn’t get any shorter? Do you feel like your time is taken up by a bunch of tasks, but you aren’t making forward progress on the most important things?

If this describes you, chances are that you are just busy.

Being busy doesn’t mean that you are actually getting things done. You might be doing stuff, but you probably aren’t making much headway on what really matters to you. You feel like you are always on the go, but you can’t seem to get ahead with your business, or even your life.

When this feels like the case, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your situation. It might be time to cut back on some of what you do in favor of focusing in a way that allows you accomplish your priorities.

Being Productive

When you are productive, you are more than just busy. You are actually working toward your goals. Your efforts are focused on the most important aspects of your business or your life. You prioritize your tasks so that the things you do have a greater impact.

In some cases, this means outsourcing some of your tasks. You don’t want to be just busy on mundane tasks that suck away at your time, but that don’t actually help your business grow. The same is true of your life. Do you really want to spend your time on chores that keep you from time with your kids, or from other activities that you find more fulfilling?

Take the time to figure out what really matters in your business and your life and decide how you want to measure success. It shouldn’t be about how many hours you work at menial tasks that anyone can take care of for your business, or how many activities you rush off to do during the week. Instead, consider whether or not you are doing something worthwhile that will move your business or life forward.

It’s true that sometimes you have to do mundane things. But for the most part, these are the things you can outsource to others. Focus more on being truly productive getting things done and less on how busy you think you are.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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