Being busy is easy, but have you ever spent a very busy afternoon and realized at the end of the four hours that you’d accomplished absolutely nothing? We don’t want to admit it, but it happens to the very best of us.
The terrible truth is that being busy is not the same as being productive.
I have a lot of difficulty in this area, and I don’t think I am alone. As small business owners we’re often dealing with everything by ourselves, so it’s easy to get distracted from the task at hand.
I will have the best intentions to work hard on a specific project for two hours, but I end up answering a string of unexpected emails. Or, like today, I get stuck on the phone with GoDaddy for 45 minutes over a domain hosting issue. By the end of the day my project has only received a measly 25 percent of my attention.
As I was researching the topic of productivity I found this article from Inc.:
7 Things Highly Productive People Do
There is some very good advice in this article, but how doable are these things? Can the average woman really stop multitasking during the day? I’m fairly sure the urge to multitasking is in our DNA. Unfortunately, according to the article multitasking makes us stupider than a stoned person.
Be militant about eliminating distractions. Here’s one piece of advice in the article that I need to implement. I’m like Pavlov’s Dogs when it comes to my email. As soon as my phone dings I feel compelled to check the email, and then I feel compelled to answer it immediately.
This article advises turning off the Internet while working on a project, but my phone will still get the email alert. So should I turn off my phone? What if I miss a call? What if there’s an emergency and someone has to get a hold of me right away? Like that one time when Ryan tried to cut his thumb off with a table saw.
Do you see my dilemma?
Let’s face it, being busy is easy, being productive is hard. But I’m going to try to become less busy and more… oh, look! A butterfly!
Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is co-owner of Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture, Inc. She is also a full-time freelance writer and founder of HeidiTown.com.