How to Turn Busyness into Productivity

by | Feb 16, 2015

Isn’t it interesting how busy everyone is today? Perhaps you recap your life in a sentence like this, “Things are crazy busy! I am so behind at work. My house is a mess. I can’t remember the last time I went out with my friends.” Sound familiar? Perhaps you have said or at least thought, “If only there were more hours in a day!” I love this famous quote by Zig Ziglar:

“The basic problem is not lack of time, it is lack of direction. We all have exactly the same amount of time whether we’re a millionaire or a pauper. All of us have 24hrs every single day.”

Profound, right? Who knew that all of us had the same amount of time each day? I’m kidding, of course. The point he makes is that while we all have the same amount of time each day, there is vast difference in how we all organize and invest our time. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by busyness, slow down and review your life direction through these simple steps.

Establish Objectives and Goals

If you haven’t done this yet, you have found your problem. Your time and priorities are driven by the most urgent requests. You don’t know how to say no because you don’t have a sense of what is most important at any given time. In Ziglar’s talk where he made the quote from above, he emphasizes the importance of establishing clear objectives in your life and setting goals that drive your activity to achieving those objectives.

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” – Prov. 21:5

Prioritize Your Time Around Your Objectives

A very successful senior leader recently shared with me that she only takes speaking opportunities that occur during the day because she likes to be home for dinner with her family. Do you see what she did? She turned down a speaking engagement with great confidence because she knew that the time requested was reserved for her family. Is your calendar driven by your goals or are your goals driven by your calendar? Have you tracked your time lately? What is eating up your day? Check out this article on the importance of analyzing where you are spending all of your time.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. – Prov. 16:9

Manage Distractions

Email is a wonderful tool. Catching up with co-workers is fun and important part of great team chemistry. However, checking email multiple times throughout the day and spending an hour comparing weekends with your coworkers are killing your productivity. Michael Hyatt has some great suggestions on how to better manage email. As for your chatty coworkers, you need to find ways to keep the personal talk to a minimum. Five to ten minutes on a Monday morning to catch up on the weekend is fine, but don’t let that conversation carry on into your 9:00 AM staff meeting.

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. – Prov. 4:25

We hope these help you take control of your busy schedule. In the comments below, tell us how you stay on top of your schedule.