Busyness vs. Being Productive

Busyness vs Productivity

By Carson Tate on September 23, 2021

There’s a misconception among many professionals today that staying busy leads to improved productivity. However, upon close examination, having a busy day does not always translate into having a productive one. Some distinctive differences can impact work productivity. Most of us would like to relax more, focus better, and achieve our daily goals and, yet, we seem to be so busy that there are often tasks we can’t seem to get to.  

How to Prioritize and Reduce Busyness

Business and time management coach Carson Tate helps business professionals develop strategies for decreasing busyness while boosting productivity. The two, as it happens, do not go hand in hand. Busy people often try to cram more than they should into one day; the result is a mad scramble from one task to another without really giving any attention it deserves. By focusing on productivity, individuals can deliver better work while cutting their to-do list in half.  

Are you a busy or productive worker? In the following text, we’ll explore some key aspects of these traits so you can improve the quality of your work, prioritize, and enjoy a more satisfying workday.  

Less Is More

Busy workers attempt to fit much too much into a workday. However, cramming tasks into a single day spotlights a failure to prioritize and schedule work well. How much easier is it to focus on three critical tasks instead of ten important, semi-important, and not-all-that-important objectives?  

Some people feel more valued and more secure when they are loaded up with tasks. Sometimes feeling busy makes us feel needed. It’s important to feel needed and whether or not we do in our chosen company is another topic entirely from the one at hand, which is the need to be productive. By reducing the busyness that characterizes each day, we can spend more time focusing on fewer tasks. Not only does this method have the potential to nurture better work, but we’re also more likely to complete each task when we assign ourselves fewer of them.  

Minimize Distractions

Busy workers tend to be distracted more often than productive workers. People who feel perpetually busy at work usually are; they’re checking their emails every time they get a notification. They’re taking every phone call and getting caught up in conversations with their colleagues at the copier station. These seemingly small habits have a way of eating up a lot of time in a day, which could be better spent on more important priorities.  

Productive professionals develop a system for addressing their email correspondence and telephone calls. They don’t allow minor distractions to impede their workday progress. Yes, it takes some discipline, but the results are inevitably positive. When we reduce distractions, we get more done and feel less busy.  

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Urgent vs. Important

All work tasks could be said to be necessary, some less so than others. Indeed, not all tasks are urgent. Productive workers understand what constitutes an urgent task that must be accomplished instead of important tasks that can be scheduled the following day. Busy people often view more matters as urgent than there are. The heightened urgency can trigger a stress response that isn’t conducive to doing strong, focused work.  

When faced with several tasks, it’s helpful to rank them in their urgency and importance. Attend the urgent tasks first and schedule the others for the following day or later in the week. Give yourself the freedom to work smart rather than busy.  

Don’t Eat Lunch at Your Desk

Busy workers often feel so weighed down by work that they feel as if they don’t have time for lunch, so they eat at their desks while trying to get something done. Productive people schedule and stick to their breaks because they are essential and help boost our productivity.  

Getting away from your desk, walking around, eating lunch in a different environment can rejuvenate our minds and body. When we return to our desks, we feel refreshed and ready to move to our next task. A busy individual never gets that much-needed time to refresh their minds and take a break from the busyness. The result is that they continue to feel busy as well as tired.  

Focus, Don’t Multitask

We’ve been taught over the last few decades that our ability to multitask is an in-demand skill. It still comes up in interviews: “How well can you multitask?” Hopefully, HR will catch up soon and understand that multitasking keeps workers busy without ensuring their productivity. In business, it’s often more crucial to focus closely on one task instead of several to ensure that that task is completed well. 

Working on a budget proposal, for example, requires one’s focus, or it becomes easy to make errors. When working on a prioritized task, it’s important to close your office door, send your calls to voicemail, and focus closely on the task at hand. You’ll find that the quality of work will go up while you feel less busy.  

If you’re searching for productivity hacks and want to reduce busyness at the same time, keep these tips in mind. Business productivity coach Carson Tate can also help you develop strategies for increasing your workplace productivity. With her coaching, you can get the personalized career advice you need to work smarter. When you do, you’ll feel less daily stress because the busyness will decline, and you will be more satisfied with your workplace performance.  

Carson Tate is the founder and managing partner of Working Simply, Inc., a business consulting firm that partners with organizations, business leaders and employees to enhance workplace productivity, foster employee engagement, and build personal and professional legacies.

She is the author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style, and just released, Own It. Love It. Make It Work.: How To Make Any Job Your Dream Job. Order your copy HERE! For more information, please visit www.carsontate.com.