We live in a society that appears to hold “busyness” in the highest of regards:
“How are you?” comes the passing question.
“Busy!” you reply.
“Ah, yeah.” nods the other person, knowingly.
“If I’m busy it must mean that I’m getting things done; I’m on my way to being a successful person!”
Well, yes, you will be successful…at being busy.
But “busyness” itself is not the goal.Your 'goal' is what you are working FOR, not HOW you are working. Click To Tweet
Which means that your measurement of a successful day is one that moves you closer to your goal, not necessarily one in which you are “busy”.
Let’s say your goal is to sell units of Widget X.
On Monday you made 100 sales calls, managed to have conversations with 10 people and eventually sold 1 unit.
And it took you 8 solid hours.
On Tuesday, however, you sent one email to 100 other people, went to play golf for the rest of the day, receiving an email by late afternoon where you sold 1 unit.
And it took you 10 minutes in total.
Clearly Monday you were much busier! But…
Tuesday was by far more productive (as defined by “results divided by time”).
Even if you have one single conversation in a day that significantly advances you towards your goal, isn’t that is preferable to 6 hours of “busy” work that doesn’t really move you much closer?
So don’t think in terms of how much time you have put into your work, instead focus on what tangible forward movement you’ve made.
Of course, it’s not always possible to have a day of tangible movement – sometimes you need to put in those hours of work that don’t seem to move you forward, at least in that moment – but your general mindset should be on your results achieved, not time spent in achieving them.
Thus, your default outlook should be on minimising the time spent achieving the same results (or better!).
And we could all do with being less busy, can’t we? 🙂
P.S. What areas of you work, or general life, do you feel are particularly “busy”? How could you be more efficient in getting the same results? Reply in the comments section below!