“You can’t measure busyness, only productivity.”

“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. They make sure they line up every day and create forward momentum. Doing many things’ means you are busy. Doing the right things on a timely basis means you are productive and create measurable value.

“Tomorrow, a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation, and achievement is stored.” Anonymous

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

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

Second, doing other people’s work instead of your own. As a leader, your “work” is making sure everyone on your team brings value every day to every task.

Third, living for the fire drill. Doing the urgent and ignoring the important. Most urgent things were first important things that were ignored.

Fourth, majoring on the trivial in order to avoid the uncomfortable. Uncomfortable responsibilities usually don’t get better with age.

Fifth, constantly stuck in “social media” and information overload. You don’t have to answer every email, tweet, Facebook and LinkedIn, 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, consistently ask yourself the following five questions:

One, what do I really want in my limited time on earth? Two, what am I doing today that supports my deepest passions? Three, if I knew the number of my days, what would I stop doing and start doing? Four, am I spending more time with people who celebrate me or tolerate me? Five, do I have someone in my life that can jerk my chain and I respect them enough to listen?

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” Paul J. Meyer

True productivity begins with total abandonment to the tasks that bring you the greatest return on the investment of your time, energy and resources.

Busyness, many times, is pursuing personal ambition by pleasing others. Great leadership is not about pleasing people, but empowering to them to be effective winners. The busier the leader, the less productive the team.

You can be busy, doing a lot of things, in 2020. Or, you can be productive, accomplishing your goals and empowering your team to win. However, you cannot effectively be both.