Business & Careers

Are You Productive or Just Busy? – Here’s How to Tell The Difference

BY Team BossBabe


If 80% of your time is spent on trying to figure out how to sell your product and 20% of your time is actually selling, then it’s safe to say – you’re being busy, not productive.

There is a significant difference between being busy in your entrepreneurial journey and being productive. One is working hard while the other is working smart.

In one of our most recent podcasts, Natalie sat down to discuss the importance of how to spend your time as an entrepreneur wisely and what decisions to make that would best benefit your time and grow your company.

Here, we detailed these same notes and expanded on the topic so that you can learn the clear difference between being busy and being productive.


You’re Busy If…

Being busy doesn't always amount to spending your time wisely. In fact, it could mean the complete opposite. Being busy can tend to be a habit that stems from perfectionism that allows us to believe that the busier we are, the more we are getting accomplished – which is totally wrong. 

When you are busy, you move in a more frantic state of mind – making sure you have an endless checklist of minor things that aren't necessarily moving the needle for your business. When you overload yourself, you inadvertently affect your ability to complete the task that makes the most difference within your role. 

There is no need to be “always on” when you truly have to only be “on” for a certain amount of hours to get what needs to be done – done. Being constantly busy means that you haven't achieved a harmonious work balance.


You’re Productive If…

When you’re productive it shows in your work, your life and most importantly the development of your business—being productive is learning how to focus on one task at a time until it’s done. Using your time efficiently will lead you to the next deadline in a timely manner rather than ticking a small task off your list which still leaves you with major and minor tasks incomplete. When you’re productive, you are fueled by purpose, leading to a healthy work-life balance. 

For instance, productive people don't pencil in small tasks like “scheduling a meeting” just to simply have it on their to-do list. Instead, they attend the meeting and immediately jump back into the tasks on their to-do list once the meeting is finished. A to-do list complete with three major tasks will always be more effective than a list complete with 30 minor tasks. This is one key difference between being busy and being productive.

Being productive allows you to have spare time, which you could use to either knock those small tasks out or simply take a well-deserved break. 


Simply put, if you’re spending your days with not much to show for all the time and effort you’re putting into your task then – you’re busy. And, if you’re smart working and time well spent is growing your business, then you are being productive. As entrepreneurs, it’s important to note the difference between these two. Why? Because productive people get it done no matter the circumstance. Check out this podcast to get a better idea of how to determine if you're productive or just busy.


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