Busy work is a thief that steals your productivity without your knowledge. You get to the end of your day and you haven’t made any real progress on your goals. Maybe you re-organized your desk or updated your blog. But you haven’t done anything that will truly help you build your business.
Busy work feels urgent.
The important thing to understand about busy work is that feels urgent. However, busy work never adds value to your business. An example of busy work would be checking your social media accounts the second your phone dings. Doing this makes you feel productive even though you aren’t.
In order to say no to busy work, you have to be willing to say ‘no’ to seemingly urgent tasks. For example, if you’re working on a client project and you get a message that it’s time to update your website software, then it’s easy to get off track. Before you know it, your day is over and the client project is still waiting for you.
Busy work is a from of procrastination.
For many people, busy work is a form of procrastination. It might not look like procrastination. In fact, you may tell yourself that before you start on a project, you just need to make a giant to do list and organize your resources.
If you want to say no to busy work, you have to understand that it causes you to make a lot of plans. But it’s the follow through that makes the difference. It might be helpful to say, “Before I begin on this project, I’m going to take 10 minutes to make an outline”. When the ten minutes are up, start working even if your outline isn’t completed yet.
Busy work masks overwhelm
Busy work frequently masks overwhelm. Maybe you’re overwhelmed at the thought of learning new software or creating an e-course. So you spend most of your time doing less important tasks instead of focusing on what’s going to grow your business.
If you find that you’re using busy work to avoid overwhelming projects, try to sit down and pick a deadline for just one task. You might say, “By [your date], I will hire a virtual assistant that can install this software and teach me how to use it”.
In order to keep busy work from stealing your productivity, you have to understand what it is. Even more importantly, you need to know why you’re doing this busy work, so you can tackle the real root of the problem.
15 Quick Reminders
- Busy work feels urgent, but it rarely adds value to your business.
- It may not seem like it, but busy work is often a sign of procrastination.
- Push the busy work aside so you can make room for the tasks that will actually build your business.
- When you know what your most valuable tasks are, you’ll be able to make smart business decisions.
- Your most valuable tasks will always be the ones that can only be done by you.
- Your most valuable tasks are the ones that let your talents and gifts shine.
- You only have a few options when handling email messages – respond, file, delegate, or delete.
- Email productivity tip: Set a designated time to check and respond to messages.
- Are you always buried under an email avalanche? Try using the inbox zero method.
- You can create content faster if you start with an outline first.
- Don’t think the first draft of your content has to be perfect. Get it done then edit later.
- Try to create content in batches. Then you can schedule it a week or two in advance.
- Log out of your social media accounts to prevent yourself from getting sidetracked by notifications.
- Install a time tracking app on your device to see how much time you’re spending on social networks.
- Regularly, schedule time away from social media. The break will refresh you and can boost productivity.