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How to move from busy to productive

I was at a client’s office this week.
Walking down the hallway, I bumped into a few people that I hadn’t seen in a while.

“How are you?” I asked each one with a smile.

“Busy” they all responded with a frown!

I sighed as I reflected upon their response and many similar ones I have regularly had with other clients. 

Firstly, why has “busy” become the word we use to greet people?
Why don’t we say, “Good thanks, how are you”?
After all, I didn’t ask these individuals, “What is your schedule like?” Right!?
Secondly, why is everyone so busy?

Why do so many leaders tell me that they have “crazy schedules”?

To be honest, I think that corporate culture is partly to blame.
We are expected to be busy all the time. It has become a sign of our effectiveness, and in some cases, busyness is a status symbol.

So, if you are that person who really has a “crazy schedule”, I want you to pause for a minute.

Take a look at the list below and answer true or false to each of these statements:

  1. My priorities are not really clear.
  2. I focus on tasks that I think matter to the business…but I’m not 100% sure.
  3. I spent time on tasks that I should be delegating to others.
  4. I hold onto work from two jobs/promotions ago.
  5. I do not take time to plan.
  6. I do not take time to schedule important or strategic work.
  7. I do not write or update my to-do list every day.
  8. I tend to waste time on distractions like social media during the work day.

If you answered true to some or all of the above questions, then you need to change the way you are working. 

How are you spending your time?

Where are you wasting your time?

Are you focussing on your priorities every day?

If I see you in the hallway next week, will you say, “Vanessa, I’m crazy busy,” or will you say, “Vanessa, I’m feeling productive and well-organized today”?

The latter…I hope!

It is time to get yourself off the “busy train” and onto the “productivity track”!

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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