Busy vs Productive

Do you ever stop to notice the words we choose during the day? I’m thinking now about time, and how so many of us say something like “I spend my time…” or “I wasted so much time….”; but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone say “Today I invested my time wisely”.  Why is that?

There is no shortage of advice about leveraging the time we have, and we all know that regardless of our level of success we all start with the same 24 hours each and every day. So why is that some of us get so much  more done than others? I’m going to be bold and say that it’s because productivity is not an accident. It is a conscious, ongoing decision to invest whatever time we have wisely. All too often, we mistake activity for achievement when, in reality, the two could not be more different.

Where does it start? With that decision to stop wasting or spending time and instead deciding where our investment of time will bring the greatest return.  Step one: Prioritize. You can’t do everything at once. Step two: Re-tool your to-do list. Because it’s impossible to map out every single minute of every single day, interruptions and surprises included, consider a weekly to-do list rather than a daily checklist. Constantly review and update, so you can see everything at a glance and choose what you can do that will fit the time you have available.

Try it for a week. Then reassess and see if you’ve gone from running in place to moving forward.

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