Busy versus Productive

In today’s hyper connected business environment, it seems we are all busier than ever. Whether we are responding to emails outside of office hours… Or taking a call while on the way to a meeting… There is so much going on in our work lives that it’s easy to lose focus on getting the most important work done. But is this really conducive to being productive? And how do you know for sure?

1. Focus on being effective

Busy people tend to have a good work ethic. That is why they are always busy. The problem is not that they don’t work hard, but that they don’t work smart. If you want to be more productive, focus on being effective. You just need to be constantly looking for better ways to achieve the same outcome.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Busy people tend to get lost in the minor details whereas productive people tend to focus on the macro issues. Once you get from A to B in the most efficient way possible, it doesn’t really matter which route you took to get there or what else you did along the way. Focus on hitting each milestone along the way to achieving your business objectives and don’t sweat the small stuff.

3. Set your own direction

Busy people tend to be reactive and let others set their direction. If you want to be more productive, you need to set your own direction and be more proactive in moving forward with each of your business objectives. Industry norms can try to set your direction of travel. However, if you want to move forward in a way that embraces new and innovative ways of doing things, it’s best you choose your own path to achieving each of your objectives.

4. The power of why?

Busy people tend to say yes and don’t really challenge why others are asking them to do things. To be more productive you need to ask “why”? You need to challenge others with questions like “Why are we doing this?” And “how does investing time in this particular activity help us achieve our business objectives?”

5. Don’t try to do everything yourself

Busy people tend to do everything themselves. To be more productive, you need to use the tools and resources available to you, in order to get things done in the most efficient manner. If a particular task has a high recurrence rate or isn’t a particularly good use of your time, either hire someone cheaper to do it or outsource it. 


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