How To Focus On Being Productive, Instead Of Busy

Let’s be honest. Entrepreneurs are notoriously busy. You know what we’re talking about –– hustle, grind, repeat. But there's a better way.

You know the drill. You have at least ten to-dos on your list, and you rarely get them all done each day. By the time you’ve finished putting out fires at the office, you barely have time or the mental endurance to pick up where you left off. As the sun sets, your list is still long and the day seems too short. You’re left disappointed. Nevertheless, you wake up with the next day with good intentions, but the cycle continues.


Let’s stop the glorification of ‘busy’

It seems like busy is a badge of honor we wear with pride these days. Society-at-large places a high value on achievement and productivity. Entrepreneurs, particularly, feel the constant pressure to accomplish and achieve more.

Let’s be honest. Entrepreneurs are notoriously busy. You know what we’re talking about –– hustle, grind, repeat. Some days we find solace in our ability to relax into the ebb and flow of it all, but “busy” (for many of us) has become business as usual.

Busy seems like the right thing to say when we’re continually asked, “How’s your day?” Still, the busier we become, the less we have to show for it. A hectic day doesn’t always translate into a productive one.

To the outside world, we achieve goals with ease, but we silently struggle with the anxiety of a busy mind and perpetually occupied days. Ironically, when we have downtime, it’s easy to feel a bit guilty or uncomfortable — after all, we should be doing more! Right? Wrong.


Work smarter and get sh*t done

Startup culture is notorious for its “move fast and break things” ideologies. But many successful entrepreneurs will tell you that busyness is the fast track to nowhere.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett estimates that he spends 80% of his working day reading and thinking. Meanwhile, Abraham Lincoln notably said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” These two approaches alone suggest that the road less traveled isn’t busy at all. Instead, it’s paved with intention and focused productivity.

So, how can we sharpen our proverbial axes and transform busy days into game-changing weeks? Here’s a look at three powerful ideas to get started.


1. Get sh*t done with the Game Changer Notebook

The trap of busywork overshadows what we need to accomplish. One reason we’re perpetually busy is that we often under-or-overestimate the priority, urgency, and importance of business tasks. That’s where productivity planners like the Game Changer Notebook come into play – simple, concise, and to the point.

A Better Productivity Planner
Game Changer Notebook | Source: Excelerate America

We love this productivity notebook because it is designed to help identify the most important tasks that move us closer to our goals, dreams, and big wins. Designed for small business owners and entrepreneurs, the Game Changer Notebook can help you establish top priorities and make your next right move with confidence.

The exclusive task framework will help you:

  • clearly identify the tasks that matter most;
  • organize your day and achieve your goals;
  • determine your next steps;
  • stay on track;
  • and accomplish what you set out to do.

Not only does it help you rethink priorities, but it has just enough space to write down everything. Its sturdy and sleek design also lays flat and stays open on your desk for quick reference.

If you need help to prioritize and accomplish essential tasks, and wrap your day feeling satisfied, get your Game Changer today.


2. Overcome distractions with the Pomodoro Technique

When you put time constraints of your daily tasks, you become more accountable to them, which leaves less time to procrastinate and be busy. If you have a large to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique can help you move through projects quickly by encouraging you to stick to disciplined time blocks. It is a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list. After all, entrepreneurs win, and lose, by the strength of their systems.

The ultimate productivity planner for entrepreneurs
© gstockstudio, YFS Magazine

Entrepreneur and author James Clear suggests, “Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. A handful of problems arise when you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time designing your systems.”

The popular productivity hack is performed by dividing projects into 25-minute intervals (i.e., pomodoros), separated by five-minute breaks. Once four pomodoros are complete, a longer break (15 to 20 minutes) is recommended.

The aim of this time management philosophy is to produce a peak focused and creative state, which allows you to complete projects quickly with less mental fatigue. As a result, you’ll work in shorter, more focused bursts that ensure you aren’t diluting your energy or worse, wasting time being busy.


3. Apply more ‘leverage’ to your time

We are all restricted by personal and human limitations to varying degrees. Leverage pushes past these limits. It is the quintessential example of what it means to work smarter. Leverage allows you to do more than you could ever achieve alone by employing resources that extend beyond your own.

In the financial world, no one builds wealth without leverage. Building financial leverage requires other people’s money (OPM) to surpass the limits of your own wallet. If you want to create time leverage, you need to utilize other people’s time (OPT) to extend your own personal limit of 24 hours in a day.

In practice, you can leverage your time by hiring at least one project-based intern or freelancer within the next 30 days. Delegate tactical low-value work and admin tasks to free yourself up for high-value strategic work. This is an example of what it means to work on your business instead of in it.

Leverage breaks the connection between your productivity and hours worked. It is the only way to achieve greater results with less personal effort. Master the concept of leverage or you’ll work much harder than necessary to produce far fewer results.


Plan, reflect and win your week

At the start of each week, plan for success. At the end of each day, reflect on how effective you were, review your Game Changer Notebook to observe your patterns, and improve for tomorrow. Utilize these productivity tips to finish each day proud of the work you have accomplished!

Recommended Resource: Get your Game Changer Notebook, an indispensable productivity resource for entrepreneurs who want to trade in their busy schedules for increased productivity.


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