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Are you one of those people that says “September’s over already?”. If you are, it may be because you feel so busy that the year has just flown by. With work and home life, does anyone have free time anymore? Well, perhaps it is time to start working on becoming less busy, and more productive.

What is the difference between being ‘busy’ and ‘productive’ you may ask? There is a huge difference between the two. You can be busy all day and still feel like you’re behind on accomplishing your tasks. Whereas if you are productive you most likely have made a solid start, if not you’re already finishing something you’ve set out to do.

For example, have you ever crossed off 80% of your to-do list without getting the two most important things completed? You might have been really busy, but were you productive? Here are some differences between busy people and productive people:

A busy person:

  • Spends all their time doing research
  • Creates long to-do lists
  • Tries to make things perfect before starting
  • Spends days working with nothing tangible to show
  • Overthinks things

A productive person:

  • Knows what’s important
  • Dives in to their tasks
  • Is self-disciplined
  • Creates short to-do lists
  • Does little bits day by day

So, how can you stop looking busy and start becoming productive? You can begin by following these 4 steps:

1. Think about how you feel

Notice that being busy or productive is also a feeling? You feel overwhelmingly busy with still so much work to do, or either you feel that you had an extremely productive day? To ignite the change from being a busy person to becoming a more productive one, start to focus on your feelings. It’s all in your mindset. Once you change your mindset you can transition how you feel towards workloads.

2. Focus on one thing at a time

There could be a hundred things that you could be doing. Think about the one thing that will deliver results first, and do it. If you think with this mindset and focus on the important tasks first, one at a time, other tasks will flow and get done faster and with more ease. Use your time wisely on what you need to get gone first and avoid procrastinating on little or less important things. It’s not always about simply getting things done, it’s about getting the right things done to reduce time wasted.

3. Use your calendar

Keeping a detailed calendar can be your best friend when it comes to productivity. Scheduling your week properly will help you keep on track. If you write something down in your calendar, you are more likely to stick to it. We recommend buying a desk calendar, something that is tangible rather than on your phone or computer, and keep right where you work. That way it is close by to refer to throughout the working day.

4. Eliminate any distractions

Distractions are the enemy of productivity. Throughout the work day anything can be a distraction, it could be your phone, social media, outside noise, your colleagues or even your boss! Obviously, you cannot eliminate all of these factors but you should try and do everything in your power to give your fullest attention to the task at hand. It may be as easy as putting earphones in or closing a door. If you learn to be more in the zone you can accomplish and finish anything you put your mind to.

The most productive people are those that own their day, and don’t let their day overwhelm and own them. Try and maximise your time and you’ll ditch being busy and become more productive in no time!

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