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Busy vs. Productive: What’s More Important to You?

By: J. Mason
Online Career Tips Staff

The day starts when you step foot into your office building, and it ends when you put your computer to sleep around the 5 o’clock hour. For some, the 8 hour work day isn’t enough, and for others it’s way too much. So, here’s the question you need to ask yourself…are you productive, or do you keep busy?

There’s a subtle difference here. Being busy can mean you occupy your time with recurring tasks, but you never reach an endpoint. You work to get things done, and you’re not result driven. Productivity is where you’re always looking at the end result, and what the goals are for what you’re working on. It’s hard to turn down odd jobs that require you to deviate from your schedule, especially if they don’t add to your overall goal. This is where you evaluate your work ethic, and what you want to achieve.

Are you busy or productive?

Once you’ve determined where you stand, make a conscious effort to stay in-line with that goal. Being busy keeps a steady paycheck, but is it adding to your career aspirations?

[Make Focus Your Best Friend]

Evaluate your position!

Not many get the chance to do this while at work, so make time at home to look back at your daily routine. A contributor to stress is being complacent. If  you find that your work is dull, and you need a change, then that could be your wake up call to up your productivity levels.

Be effective

A great article from Marc and Angel Hack Life shares insight on the “12 Things Highly Productive People Do Differently.” On that list it breaks down why you should focus on being productive, instead of busy. Don’t get discouraged if you get tangled into everyday trivial tasks. If you really feel like it’s taking you off your game then talk to your manager. Tell them where you want to “go”, and what you can do to get there. It’s important to also understand the culture at your company, that way you’re effectively moving toward your endgoal, without stepping on toes on the way up.

[Know the Promotion Strategy at Your Company]

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