Time Management: Busy vs Productive

Time Management: Busy vs Productive

Time Management seems to be a common problem for many business owners. We all have the same amount of time, so it comes down to how you choose to spend that time. Remember, it is a choice!

Another factor with managing your time is the perception of it when we are experiencing different conditions.

So, when we feel pressurised or stressed out the time seems to fly by.

However, when we are bored or waiting for something; time seems to drag.

But as we all logically know time does not speed up or slow down; it is our own reaction to it. Our own emotional response to time rather than the physical thing of time.

Busy vs Productive

So, let’s take it one step further – are you busy or are you productive?

The phrase ‘busy fool’ always springs to mind for me, and no one wants to be called a fool, so it appears that to be busy is bad. Which again, sounds strange as it’s surely better to be busy than say, lazy or bored?

Let’s look at those traits of a ‘busy fool’:

Having a huge to do list, or multiple lists

A list is great; I love a list but when you analyse what’s on the list are they urgent, important, not urgent or not important and a combination of these. (Covey’s quadrants). Obviously, there shouldn’t be any in the not urgent and not important section (Quadrant 4) and the Important Urgent quadrant should not be chocka (Quadrant 1)! Balance is key.


I love to multi-task but also realise the futility of it! Jumping from task to task, breaking off something when you are really involved can mean at least a 15 min period to get back on track – how useful is that? Not. Consider that next time to jump to the beep and check out the latest notification.

Skipping breaks

Ploughing through your work or big project for hours without a break feels great when you are doing it. But actually, the longer we have our head down the less productive we are. Everyone will be different so it’s key to find out what the best timescale is for you. Taking a break every 90 mins or so will have you returning refreshed and revived to continue. That break could be a cup of tea, reading a book or a walk round the block – pooch will definitely thank you for that one.

Say ‘yes’ to everything

Do you appreciate it when you are asked to do something – paid or pro bono? So, saying no would feel negative and totally rude. No one wants to be considered rude, do they?

Being task orientated

Now this is a really common way to be as a business owner – the good ole to-do list makes it appear that that is what we should be. However, there is a better way.

Dashing from one project to another

Getting that stuff done and ticking off that to-do list – feels great doesn’t it? Moving quickly on from one thing to another. Firing work off to clients at a great rate of knots. The immediate thought is that you will soon burn out and life being self-employed won’t feel so good after all.

Check out the next article for those attributes of a productive business owner.

Bringing outsourced administrative and marketing assistance into your business can give you the time to plan, strategise and grow – find an expert who you can work with and embrace their abilities and skill.

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Being Productive and not a fool

How many of those ‘busy fool traits’ do you have … think about how you could do things differently by consistently being productive?

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