Let's admit that we are all guilty of telling friends and family how busy we are. While it is true for a lot of small business owners and life can seem very hectic at times, being busy is not always a good thing!
The Breakdown of Busy vs. Productive
A lot of small businesses are set up as a sole proprietorship, which means that there is one person running it all. This means that the owner is having to wear a lot of different hats all at once and this is where the busyness and overwhelm can set it. However, just because you are busy with a lot of different tasks doesn't mean that you are necessarily being productive.
I have to admit that I have been guilty of this so many times and I have to constantly catch myself from falling into the same trap. I absolutely love organization and creating to-do lists! It lets me make sure I'm not missing anything important and gives me a lot of gratification to mark things off my to-do list during the day. However, I found myself falling into a habit of creating massive to-do lists with 50+ items to do each day! Not only was it ridiculous to think I could get that much done in a workday but I was also constantly overwhelming myself and getting frustrated when I couldn't get it all done. I was filling my day with busyness but at the end of the day I didn't have a lot to show for it because I wasn't being productive and moving my business forward.
A Better Solution
I've been part of two different mastermind groups for over a year now (more on masterminds in an upcoming blog post) and productivity has been my biggest takeaway. In both groups we start each week with a question of "What is the number one thing I can do this week to move my business forward?". This can be such an impactful question to ask yourself every week because it lets you get clear on your overall goals and create mini goals throughout the week to help you reach the big goal.
It isn't about how much you can get done in a week (busyness) but more about how you can make big strides towards your business goals (productive). Asking this simple question each week helps you redefine what a productive day looks like for you. Of course you want to grow your social media following but spending three hours a day on social media isn't productive and is probably just procrastination.
Once you get clear on your business goals you can end the busy vs. productive struggle once and for all and only work on the items that matter most to your business growth. Let us know what your biggest tool has been to fight busy and get productive! Share in the comments below.