The Difference Between Being Busy and Productive

Now I totally get the feeling when you feel like you have been working on your goal non-stop for so long and you aren’t getting anywhere. There isn’t enough time in the day to do even more work, so why isn’t the needle moving? Before we get into this, I want you to know that it is such a common feeling and you shouldn’t feel like you are the only one. But I have come to the realisation that busy and productive are too completely different things. Maybe, instead of being productive you are just simply being busy. A lot of people glorify being busy but instead of this, we need to work smarter which makes us more productive. So what is the difference?


So being busy is having lots of work to do and getting a lot done. There is always something else that can be done and we just…do it.

But being busy doesnt always mean that we are moving towards our goal. We can have loads to do and keep ourselves busy without moving the needle.

There is always a lot of “admin” work that surrounds our goals and we can sometimes busy ourselves with these little tasks that, although they are aligned with what we are working on, they are not necessarily getting us closer to the goal.

For example, if you are trying to get a website up and running then you could be busying yourself by spending hours on your logo, or changing the theme and layout constantly. Now that will definitely keep you busy as I know all too well. But this isn’t being productive and it isn’t really moving you further along with the success of your website.

We can trick ourselves into carrying on like this because we feel like these are important elements of our business but before you know it, you have this beautiful website and perfect logo without any content to attract your amazing readers. So is that work really worth it?


Using the same example, being productive would be creating content, marketing it and contacting potential new clients. This will definitely start moving the needle but you might not spend as much time doing this as you would playing with HTML on your website.

When you are doing the busy bits you are actually procrastinating because you are not doing the meaningful work. You are stopping yourself from creating success.

If you spend all the time doing the admin jobs then you won’t have enough time to really get the passion work done. Can you see now how much more productive doing this meaningful work is?

Yes it might be harder to get the productive stuff done, it can be scary to put yourself out there, you might be a perfectionist and not want to release things that aren’t perfect (which is a post in it’s own right) or you might just not know where to start because starting work on a big goal is daunting business.

So here is how to stop just being busy and instead get super productive.

How to Start Moving the Needle

Very often if you are the type of person who just busies yourself with the things that aren’t offering real progress, you are likely the type that just sits down at your laptop and makes things up as you go. You don’t have a plan of action and you open the laptop before you actually know what you want to be working on.

So guess what I am going to say? Stop doing this.

Instead you need to lay down exactly what it is you need to be doing. Firstly you need your big goal (if you are struggling to find what this is then please sign up to my True Clarity E-Course which has helped hundreds of my readers already!) then once you know your destination you must then break it down into smaller, actionable steps.

Now you know what action you actually have to take. This can then be turned into a sort of “To Do” List as you will now know the real work that needs to be done and this is something that you can start working towards.

How to Have a Productive Plan

So there is no use just writing down your To Do list without organising it first. This is because you can still just pick the easier tasks that take less mind work and don’t really need doing.

You need to actually put together a plan and a priorities list.

Now of course there will be things that you won’t want to do or that really won’t be doing much for your business but you still need to do them in order for the business to run but you also need to really map out the scarier or harder tasks.

Depending on what works for you, you can either make a list and put it in order of impact it will have on your business. So, say creating a video will have the most impact, you can put this at the top and then redesigning your logo can go at the bottom because that can be done later on down the line.

Or you can actually book yourself slots on what you want to do when. If you are more focused in the morning then you can do the work that requires a bit more attention from you and then in the afternoon when your focus starts to waver you can finish off doing some admin.

Applying This To Any Goal

This idea can be applied to almost everything. Even like losing weight. You could be spending your time trying to motivate yourself or looking up recipes and talking to other people about losing weight, trying fads or using “miracle” products. You are just procrastinating because either the fear is holding you back from putting in the real work or you are just being a little lazy.

Instead, just start cooking healthier meals, chuck out those chocolate bars and sign up to the gym (and then actually go).

The simple answer to this all is to stop doing those little things that make you feel like you are putting in the work but aren’t actually getting you anywhere and instead just dice straight in there and do the hard work that is going to get you moving. No matter how hard it is you just have to get it done, your future self with thank you.

So what have you been procrastinating on? Let me know what your goals are and what real work you are going to put in going forward! I would love to hear from you.

The Difference Between Being Busy and Productive