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Are you productive, or are you busy?

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Lizzie Tasker Career Advice, Work Life Balance, Work Life...

Productive versus Busy, but what’s the difference? In short, busy people work hard whereas productive people work smart!

Busy people can often be overthinkers, getting bogged down in detail whilst trying to multi-task their way through a mammoth to-do list. Productive people focus on the end goal and will consider the most effective way to reach that goal; they’re action-orientated and results-driven.

Everyone has the same amount of hours in the day, it’s about learning how to make these hours work for you! Easier said than done, right? Well, maybe not if you follow these key tips!

1.Prioritise

Effective people know what is important and necessary. They can identify what tasks are time critical and which can wait.  Think about your overall goal and work from there. Don’t agonise over the small stuff, the most important thing is making a start!

2.Plan

Effective people can see their end goal and assess the optimum way to get there, even if it means changing things up or doing things differently. They might even identify that something doesn’t need to be done at all! So turn off your autopilot, take a step back and don’t assume that, just because something has always been done a certain way, there’s not a better way.

3.Learn when to say no

Effective people say yes or no mindfully. Whether you’re trying to make a good impression in a new job or trying to balance friends and family, learn to say no to things that don’t serve you. It might sound selfish or counter-intuitive, but to spread yourself so thinly that you can’t give something your full attention, could have more negative consequences than good.

4.One thing at a time

Multi-tasking can mean doing several things poorly. It can also make you feel more overwhelmed! Stop procrastinating and just do it! Giving one task your full attention and focus is proven to be more effective. Once it’s done, it’s done and you can move on. Which leads us nicely onto point 5…

5.Do it right first time

.. so you don’t have to spend time putting them right later! Cutting corners or doing a ‘botch’ job is a false economy. Think quality over quantity. Being fully present and giving something your best first time, even if it takes a little longer, will save you time further down the line.

6.Ditch the distractions

The arch enemy of productivity! Keep work time for work and know when it’s time to call it a day. This starts at the planning stage, organise your calls and meetings accordingly and if you need to focus, turn off your phone and emails or head to a quiet space.

7.Embrace growth and change

Finally, productive people are able to adapt and change with the times by continually reviewing what they’re doing against the end goal to keep themselves moving forward effectively. Think about what’s relevant to your situation, whether it’s learning new skills, utilising new technology, changing your routine or doing something differently.