Differences Between Busy People and Productive People

The idea that being busy equals being productive is very far-fetched. A person who has a busy schedule is not necessarily productive, as we have previously discussed in our ‘A Busy Person’s Lies‘ blog post. In fact, being a productive person, or even a Productivity Ninja, is not at all tantamount to being a busy one. ‘’Many people see those who rush chasing errands as more productive than those who are more passive, but this can easily be the very opposite’’ – explains Fred Dickson, a psychology expert at an UK Essay Service.

To help you differentiate between the two, we found the 15 biggest differences between a busy and a productive person.

A busy person will try to fit many things into one day. A productive person will cut down the list and get every prioritized task done in time.

Breaking down tasks

A busy person will believe that by adding more things to their to-do list, they will be more productive. A productive person knows how to prioritize. A Productivity Ninja will also prioritize their weekly review time in order to ensure they’re on top of all their projects, tasks and meetings. Productive people know the value of taking a step back and re-assessing prioritize, while busy people keep on paddling without the bigger picture in mind.

A busy person will accept any challenge and assignment. A productive person will take their time and choose the important ones.

Saying No

If a person is busy, it doesn’t mean that they’re doing something productive or important. Productive people take their time to differentiate between important and unimportant and will master the art of Productivity Ninja Ruthlessness and saying ‘No’.

A busy person is likely to be distracted. A productive person has a system in place.

Productivity Ninjas Don't Multitask

Busy people tend to multitask and therefore have lots of distractions lingering behind every corner. Productive people are the masters of mono-tasking and have systems in place to ensure they won’t be distracted as easily. In our time management training, we talk about various ways to be ruthless and protect our own attention.

A busy person tends to be glued to the desk. A productive person knows the importance of taking regular breaks.

Time for a break

Breaks are an important way to remain productive and energized. We’re not just talking about your lunch break here, but frequent breaks throughout the work day. And not to forget, booking time off work to properly recharge. We can only give 100% at work, if we invest time into unplugging – your own health and productivity will be very thankful!

A busy person will respond to your email fast. A productive person might let you wait a bit.

Email Alternatives

As we like to highlight in our Email Training, there’s a difference between emails and instant messaging. If something is urgent enough, people will pick up the phone and therefore we don’t immediately have to answer every single email in our inbox. Productive people don’t focus on responding to every email straight away, but have systems in place which will help them process their emails. Busy people tend to start their days by checking their emails and in return let the state of their inbox dictate the rest of their day. Productive people know there are better ways to start the day.

Which of your habits are you turning upside down to become a Productivity Ninja rather than a busy person? 

By Chris Richardson
Chris is a journalist, editor and a blogger. He loves to write, learn new things, and meet new people. Chris is also fond of travelling, sports and playing the guitar. Follow him on Google+

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