Are We More Productive In The Workplace Or Just Busier?

There is a fine line between being busy and being productive. One could say they are the same thing, but there is a distinct difference. Busyness is the act of being busy (obviously) and simply doing multiple things in succession. If you are reading this blog post, you’re busy. There are different levels of busyness and some people are better at being busy managing multiple tasks at once than others. Productivity on the other hand is the management of multiple tasks, but in a strategic way. There is a certain method to the activity, which is not present in busyness.

In today’s day and age where there are not enough hours in the day and we never seem to ever complete the list of tasks assigned to us before more are added to the bottom… are we being productive? Or are we simply getting busier? It could be either or… here’s a simple way to differentiate between the two.

  • Busyness is easy to get into and can simply be taken on
  • Productivity is actual effort and work and requires preparation and effective execution

Let’s go into more detail.

Busyness can be achieved in everyday life and at any time. Making yourself a cup of tea in the morning is being busy. It generally speaks to taking on many different tasks that might not even be related, but they simply need to be done.

Productivity is part of a greater plan. It requires some foresight and possibly even strategic direction. Being productive deals with executing on defined tasks, one at a time, ticking them off as they are achieved in order to meet a certain end goal.

The Core Differences Between Being Busy And Being Productive

That fine line we spoke about is probably becoming clearer to you now. Here are some other core differences between busy people and those who are productive.

  • Busy people are easily distracted
    • Productive people are focused
  • Busy people are constantly seeking out ways to add more to their plate to keep them busy
    • Productive people will be strategic in the task-allocation process, and look to cut out unnecessary activities that aren’t going to help them reach the end goal
  • Busy people will gladly assume any responsibility and make it their own, regardless of whether they have time to deal with it or not
    • Productive people will again look at the end goal and determine whether or not they can assume any further responsibility. They are systematic in their approach to taking on responsibilities and will say no when it doesn’t suit their needs or capabilities
  • Busy people tend to go non-stop
    • Productive people understand the work-life balance and incorporate this into everyday
  • Busy people can often get a lot done, but they can be surrounded by chaos and clutter at the same time
    • Productive people tend to be organized and surrounded by a clean, well-ordered space
  • Busy people focus on action
    • Productive people focus on results

So where does your team lie? Are you busy or productive? Do your results speak of properly planned and executed strategies, or simply taking on multiple tasks?

Taking the time to hone in on priorities and factor in a strategy will help you transform your busyness into productive activity. This is where you will see the results.

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Posted by Lachie Dixon

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