“The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.”
Thomas Sowell

Great leaders constantly monitor their core values, core strengths and critical resources. All three are vital. They make sure these line up and create forward momentum every day.

Doing many things’ means you are busy. Doing the right things on a timely basis means you are productive and create measurable value. This is what creates long-term employment and personal satisfaction.

Here are five signs you are busy but probably not productive:

First, attending too many non-productive meetings. Most meetings are poorly planned, over-managed and usually cost more than they are worth.

Second, doing other people’s work instead of your own. Non-producers are always looking for someone else to cover for their own lack of effort.

Third, living for the daily “fire drill,” doing the urgent and ignoring the important. Top producers do the important when its seldom urgent. Nonproductive people are always busy, seem to live in a constant state of urgency and accomplish little.

Fourth, majoring on the trivial in order to avoid doing the uncomfortable. Great leaders make a living doing what poor leaders find uncomfortable and find every excuse to avoid.

Fifth, you’re constantly stuck in “social media” and information overload. You don’t have to respond to every Email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to name a few.

There is an alternative to busyness. It’s called creating a reality beyond the urgent. If you desire focused productivity over busyness and urgency, ask yourself the following four questions:

What do I really want in my limited time on earth? What am I doing today that supports my deepest passions? If I knew the number of my days, what would I stop doing and start doing? Am I spending more time with people who celebrate me or tolerate me? Before you create your daily “To Do” list, answer these four questions.

It’s very difficult to measure busyness—activity without results. Productivity is the result of focused efforts with measurable goals. Is it really valuable and worth doing if it cannot be measured? Compensation and reward should be given based on measurable results not how hard you work.

“The man on the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” Vince Lombardi

Many are busy and working hard going around the mountain but forget the goal is to make it to the top!