Busy vs. Productive

Let's be productive today!

Let's be productive today!Raise your hand if you feel as if you are the hamster running on that wheel…working hard and staying in place!  In our VUCA (Volitile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world, the number of micro and macro decisions that we are making is increasing. I think there is a direct correlation between the “more VUCA” the world is to the number of decisions we are forced to make every day.I suggest that you take 5 minutes three times a day (mid-morning, mid-day, and mid-afternoon) to ask yourself one question; “Is what I am doing now, and what I have done in the last 2 hours, being ‘busy’ or being ‘productive?’  If the tasks you are doing are classified as busy adjust your day so you can be productive.Here is a guide to help in your reflection.

  1. Being productive does not mean working 24/7. It means working effectively within the shortest amount of time.
  2. Being busy feels urgent. Being productive feels effective.
  3. Being busy is frantic and multitasking. Being productive is focused.
  4. Being busy is working harder. Being productive is working smarter.
  5. Being busy is fueled by perfectionism. Being productive is fueled by purpose.
  6. Being busy says yes quickly and takes on more than can handle. Being productive thinks carefully before taking on more tasks.
  7. Being busy talks about the little time they have. Being productive makes time for what is important.

Source: Nawal Mustafa, @TheBrainCoachMy Two Cents:Pay attention to #5…purpose versus perfectionism. Oftentimes people substitute the pursuit of perfectionism as our purpose in life. I think that is being intellectually dishonest with yourself. Perfectionism implies the process of doing something while purpose implies the destination or the “why” of your actions. Leaders with a clear destination are simply more productive than busy. I would love to talk to you about your purpose…email me at tom@poweringuped.com and we can have a chat!

About Tom Butler, Ph.D.

I believe that public education is for the public good and that education should be uncompromisingly learner-centered. The New Learning Ecosystem points us away from the old model of education that does not serve kids well. All educators regardless of where they work can help lead and contribute to the New Learning Ecosystem.
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