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  • Writer's pictureTorre Boyd LPC

Are you Busy or Productive?

You wake up at 6 am, rush to get dressed in hopes of missing traffic on your way to the office, and snag a cup of joe from your favorite coffee shop. Or you roll out of bed at 6 am, don’t get dressed, and make a cup of coffee. Either way, before you know it your day has begun. You’re in and out of meetings and emails all day so you grab lunch on the go. It's now 3 pm and you think, “Gosh where has the time gone?” Before you know it you’re “done” for the day, and instead of relaxing into your evening you ponder how far behind you are in accomplishing your goal or how much more you have to do.

If this is you, I challenge you to ask yourself in these moments, “Am I busy? Or am I being productive?

Let’s face it. There’s a large difference between being busy and being productive. Dr. John Spencer has made it easy for us to map this out:

Someone who is busy might:

  • Feel frantic

  • Feel rushed

  • Be fueled by perfectionism

  • Feel pressured to be good at everything

  • Often Multitask / submit incomplete work

Someone who is productive might:

  • Engage with their work in a focused manner

  • Feel Relaxed

  • Be great at a few important things

  • Engage in single tasks/ submit complete work

As a P, you’ve likely felt the effects of being both productive and busy. And for those times where you need to slow down, T is at your service and happy to provide 7 tips to be less busy.

  1. Drop the Pursuit of Perfection

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, no one is perfect! Being perfect is unrealistic. And although you may not be perfect, YOU ARE ENOUGH. You have the skills and intelligence you need to get through anything you set your mind to. And guess what? You don’t even have to be perfect to do it.

  1. Say No When You Need To

No is actually one of my favorite words. I find it freeing. Before you say yes to something, look at your planner. Does it really fit your schedule? Does it even fit your purpose? If not, then you probably shouldn’t do it.

  1. Decrease Time Spent on Social Media

Sometimes we avoid our thoughts by getting on social media. How many times have you found yourself aimlessly scrolling on your phone? I hate to break it to you, this isn’t a real break. Nine times out of ten, a break is what you really need.

  1. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Everyone has their own battles. And though they may not be vocal about it, as a licensed therapist I assure you that no one's grass is greener than the other. What works for someone else may not work for you. Busying yourself to compete with others isn’t healthy or constructive.

  1. Plan Your Down Time

This tip is for my planners! Along with jotting down the tasks you must complete in your weekly planner, schedule you some “me time.” By planning time for yourself, you make yourself a priority. Set that intention.

  1. Take Regular Breaks

Don't overextend yourself. Think of your body as an engine. It has a limit. It will go kaput whether you’re in favor or not.

  1. Catch Up With a Friend

Or whatever it is you do for fun. Breaking up your periods of focus with a bit of social interaction helps to turn off the mind, and sometimes you’ll need that.

Give these a try and let me know what you think.


—Torre LPC, NCC

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