My Title page contents

Differences Between Busy and Productive People

Oakstone International executive search Differences between busy and productive people

Productive people have a mission for their lives, busy people want to look like they have a mission

Productive people have a plan to get where they want to be – busy people don’t.  Busy people will want to look like they have a plan but won’t really know where they’re going and what they are trying to achieve.

Plan where you want to be and how you’re going to get there to avoid doing pointless tasks that won’t get you anywhere.

Productive people have few priorities, busy people have many priorities

Productive people know that prioritising a few tasks and finishing them is more productive than having lots of priorities and not getting any of them finished. Productivity is about planning and being realistic about what workload you can get done.

Use Brian Tracy’s 4 quadrants of time management to assist you on prioritising your workload.

Productive people think about saying yes, busy people say yes quickly.

Productive people know their time is valuable and that saying yes to everything without thinking about their organised plan can sabotage their productivity.  Take the time to think about saying yes to everything and think about your plans you already have in place.

Productive people focus on clarity before action, busy people focus on being busy.

Productive people want to understand something fully before taking action.  This is so they can get things done properly and don’t make mistakes because they don’t misunderstand something and have to do the task again. Busy people tend to miss this step and jump straight into the action – whether they fully understand the task or not.

Take time to understand tasks fully before starting them!

Productive people close doors, busy people keep all doors open.

Productive people understand that they can’t juggle everything that comes their way and will happily close doors to focus on the important opportunities.  Busy people will try and juggle everything at one time and be reluctant to close doors and opportunities that they don’t have the time to juggle. Take time to evaluate opportunities and workload to see what needs to be continued and what needs to be closed off – don’t waste time on tasks with little or no value.

Productive people let their results do the talking, busy people talk about how busy they are.

Productive people don’t talk about their success because it wastes time – and they don’t need to… their results are evident.  Busy people talk about how busy they are, why? because they are not doing what they need to do but wasting time by talking about it.  

Don’t talk about your tasks or productivity – just do it!

Productive people make time for what is important, busy people talk about how little time they have

Productive people make time for what’s important, whether that be spending time with family/ friends or doing specific tasks.  Don’t ever talk about how little time you have – if you are, you are not planning your time effectively.

Productive people focus, busy people multitask

Productive people tend to focus their time fully on one task at a time, busy people tend to juggle tasks which prevents them from finishing each task fully and/or effectively.

Plan your time so that you are doing one thing at a time and focus on that task until it is completed.  Not only will your tasks be done to a better standard, but you’ll get more done.

Productive people take their time, busy people respond to emails quickly

Productive people take the time to think about what they are saying and take the time to articulate it carefully. Busy people tend to respond quickly without taking the time to think about what they are really saying.

Try reading important emails and come away from the email for 10 minutes – then go back and respond.  This little break will allow you to really think about what people are saying and allow you to articulate what you really mean.

Productive people want others to be effective, busy people want other people to be busy

Productive people will encourage others to take the time to plan and get jobs done properly. They will understand that great things take time, whereas busy people will want others to be snowed under with tasks too.  They want people to feel the same as they do because they feel they are doing more than others.

If you become productive, you’ll want other people to be productive too. Don’t try and encourage other people to be busy because you are.

Productive people are making changes, busy people will talk about how they will change.

Productive people don’t talk about things - they do it! Talking about something will get you nowhere if you don’t take the actions to get there.

Plan plan plan.  You need to know what you’re going to do to make changes and complete tasks! If you don’t plan you are nothing but someone who is busy.