There are a lot of people who look really busy but don’t actually produce very much.
I used to be one of those people. I mistakenly thought that if I was ‘busy’ doing lot’s of things then I must be having a productive day. Wrong.
Shuffling papers, sitting in pointless meetings, checking email 28 times a day, planning every detail of my upcoming year, perfecting an important email I’m about to send … these are just excuses for not actually being really productive.
One of my mentors once asked me to write a review of what I accomplished at the end of each day. That was a grueling task. It was an eye opener. When it came down to asking the question of “What did I actually accomplish today?” the answer was usually … not much.
Busyness is another word for procrastination.
We get ‘busy’ with something so we can think and feel as if we are getting things done. “Oh I had SUCH a BUSY day!” you hear people say this a lot. But ask them how much extra money they made that day or how they got closer to achieving their life goals or what did they actually produce and suddenly the truth is revealed.
The best way to overcome this and prevent yourself from falling into the trap of ‘busyness’ is to catch yourself out when you are doing it.
But how do you know when you are just being busy for the sake of being busy?
The best way is to write down a list of things that you want to accomplish and whenever you find yourself being busy with something, just ask yourself if this task is getting you closer to completing a goal on the list. So for me I write down every morning (before I get busy with anything) 3-5 things I want to accomplish today. Then throughout the day I check off things on that list. If I find myself doing something and it’s not helping me accomplish something on that list. I stop doing it.
It’s not easy because it’s scary to be extremely productive. We ask ourselves “what will happen if I accomplish all my goals?” We ask “What will I do with all that free time?” We ask
The truth is that the most accomplished people in life are the ones that make the most of their time. They value their time because they realize how much can really be accomplished when you stop wasting time doing ‘meaningless’ things.
Once you start trying this exersize and you start catching yourself out more often. You will find that you actually have more time in your day than you thought you had! The question then will be what to do with all that extra time? I play lot’s of tennis, read, spend time with family and friends, work on spiritual pursuits and basically anything else I enjoy doing.
What will you do with your time?