Are you being productive or just busy?

I’ve worked with a number of clients over recent months who sought to discuss their work-life balance. The circumstances differed but I did see a theme – of not wanting to let go and of getting a great deal of personal satisfaction through being needed.

What I’ve been asking clients to do is to create a time log to see where the time goes and to note down the little tasks that eat away time such as checking emails, surfing on the net and not fully focusing on a task.

When clients are managers I’ve been asking them to think about what can be delegated. 

For everyone there can be scope to delegate the tasks we don’t want to focus on – from gardening to ironing, to organising a party. This could give you the time to do what you want to do, rather than what you think you should do.

Emails: Instead of having the “you’ve new mail” ping every few minutes why not switch it off and just check mail a few times today, such as 9am, 12.30, 4pm.

The tasks you hate: would it be worth paying someone else to do this? They could do the task quicker and you would save the energy you spend thinking about what you don’t want to do.   

We should never forget that time is not renewable, the hour or half day wasted is gone for ever.  So make the time to focus on what is of most important to you.

What do you do to keep you productive in your use of time?

2 responses to “Are you being productive or just busy?

  1. I am always surfing the web, or checking emails, or something else that would be construed as not productive. I guess this is something I have to work on 🙂

  2. Hi Steve,

    I find I will surf and check emails and I know it slows me down. I get through my emails so much quicker when I have been away for the day and have to get through a days emails as quickly as possible.

    I try to use surfing and checking emails as a treat! finsih this letter then look for music on Amazon etc.

    I also think that setting aside specific time does make me more productive but it’s hard!

    denise x

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