Are You Truly Productive?

imageAre you truly productive? That’s a question you may want to ask yourself with some regularity. We… you, me and everybody else has the uncanny ability to trick ourselves into believing that we are incredibly productive when in fact we’re merely busy.

Busy and productive are two entirely different things!

Busy is about doing stuff. Productive is about doing stuff for a purpose. Busy is about looking like your accomplishing something. Productive is about actually accomplishing it. Busy is about wondering what happened to the hours in your day. Productive is about knowing exactly how you used your time.

Busy people hope for a productive day. Productive people plan a productive day.

Their plan is based on their goals and objectives. They determine what they will do and when they will do it based on priorities that come straight out of their goals. They strive to be doing the most productive thing possible at any given time.

Here’s they most amazing thing about highly productive people: they have more free time to do as they please. They earn this free time by not wasting time being busy. They simply get more done than very busy people.

The key is effective goal setting. Once you invest the time required to have meaningful goals in specific areas of your life you’re halfway to being productive. To finish the job you must develop a detailed plan around how you will achieve each goal.

Specificity is vital here. If you allow wiggle room you’ll use it to fall into old, busy looking habits.

Share your goals with someone to whom you truly matter, someone who will hold you accountable to your plan. This is where a coach or mentor can really make a difference. People who have a coach or mentor are generally more productive and more successful. That is not a coincidence. Coaches and mentors make a major difference in the lives of those they work with.

So don’t be so busy you never stop to ask yourself if what you’re doing is actually productive. That little gut check can be the difference between getting something accomplished and wondering why you can’t.

15 thoughts on “Are You Truly Productive?

      1. Haha yep…I’ve had to learn it many times already, and probably will have to many more. But as long as I remember it and get back on track, it’ll all be good!

  1. Before a client hires a coach, they usually have a consultation.

    I coach the majority of clients by phone and/or Skype. During our initial phone convo, I can tell with accuracy whether they’ll hire me or not and two whether or not they’re committed to success.

    Case in point. A few months ago, a biz owner contacted me looking for a business coach. During the convo, I could sense through the tone of his voice, cadence, questions, and the fact he missed our initial phone appointment and never emailed nor called to reschedule, that he wasn’t ready to commit.

    Steve, as you say in your essay, this prospect knew if he hired me, he was going to move from being busy and hoping for success vs. becoming a responsible business owner willing to plan for a productive day.

    He did not want to change his behavior. Yet.

    Clients have to wanna.

    1. Yep, I had someone once ask me to help them change their business culture. My first question was, “what are you willing to change personally?”

      They said they would think about it, I haven’t heard back yet… Let’s see, that was 2004….

  2. Steve, this is something I can never hear enough. I love this, “Busy people hope for a productive day. Productive people plan a productive day.” Most definitely! It is a terrific reminder. Thanks for all you do.

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