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Being Busy vs. Being Productive

There's a difference between being busy vs. being productive. Read on to find out how to be less busy and more productive!
being busy

We all know someone who when we ask how they are doing, the reply is “busy.”  

I was one of these people in the past, always busy and feeling like nothing was getting done.  It is not a way to live and is so far from actually being productive.  

For example, I was working with a client the last month who was overwhelmed with her to-do list.  She had 28 things on her list for the day after our session. Among the list was “going to Target for coconut water and cereal,” to “create kid activities” to “reports for work.”  She was determined to get to Target first thing in the morning.  

I stopped her and reflected…”How much time will Target realistically take?”  She said about an hour.  I said, if it’s 15mins away with 3 kids in tow, let’s say 2hrs to be safe.  Then I asked, “is coconut water, cereal, and spending more money on other stuff not on your list (it’s Target!) worth 2hrs of your time tomorrow? Is it necessary?”  

Her answer: “No.”  

So I told her to cross it off the list or move to another day.

If it’s not necessary, it’s a no.  

That now leaves her time to plan kids’ activities in the morning so they are occupied during the day. They do activities while she gets her work reports out.  The work reports we concluded were the important item because her work pays the bills.  That’s being productive!

When we feel overwhelmed all the time it’s probably because we are busying ourselves with things that do not truly matter at that moment.  Having a list is great, however, I guarantee you can be strategic in the way you conquer your list.  

Just “getting things done” and “crossing things off” is not a way to live!

One way to help yourself with this is to create a “Hit List.” I use this with my coaching clients as a shortcut to seize the day and focus on the present. 

Your Hit List can contain no more than 3 MUST DO items. These items are things that need to be completed that day. 

For example, if you have a presentation 2 days from now and worry about it every day leading up to the day before, it will steal each day’s energy and drain you. Tsk. Tsk.

The Hit List is a simple way to prioritize what’s important without the extra worry.  

Maybe today you outline the presentation.  Tomorrow you put the rest together and the day of you carve out time to practice it before you present. It’s all about learning to be productive while minimizing stress and maximizing focus on what matters at the moment. 

The sheet will help you learn to prioritize tasks and refocus your energy on what matters most in your day. 

The best part is that when you always have 3 things to do instead of 100, it puts life into perspective and leaves the “busy” for another day.  

Now, I have some clients that do a Hit List for each day and some that do it for the month.  Use it for however it works for you! It’s setting yourself up for success without the worry of constantly adding to a list that never ends.  

In conclusion, don’t start your day at Target, end it there. Get the important stuff completed first with a priority focus and strategic timeline. 

So many people have to-do lists miles long and I guarantee that most of what’s on it isn’t important and can be removed.  Not everything is an emergency.  Sure it can feel like it at times and that’s why it’s important to reflect and refocus on our Hit List.

So take out your to-do list and let’s get back some time and energy with our Hit List!

Please share this with someone you feel can benefit.  Maybe someone with long lists.  Maybe someone who says, “busy” when you ask them how they are.  We want them to say “I’m great!” not “I’m busy and unfocused.”  

Design the life you want!

Amy xo

productivity Hit List What you need to get more done!
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