Staying busy is not the same as being productive.
Many people run around all day checking emails, texting, tweeting, making phone calls, etc. Yet at the end of the day, they failed to get meaningful work accomplished. They spent lots of time working but failed to produce results. They put in their time, but the results did not follow.
We value not having time. When was the last time you met someone who thought they had tons of extra time? They don’t know what to do with all the free time they have.
We are under an illusion. We believe that the numbers of hours we are busy (or say we are) has a direct correlation to the amount of work we get done. This could not be further from the truth.
There is no correlation between success and numbers of hours worked.
Zig Ziglar asks a question that drives this point home. He asks, “Why do you get twice as much work done the day before vacation as any normal day?” The answer is simple. We set a list of goals and tasks that have to be done before we could board the plane or set out for the road trip. Then we work the plan and get them done.
We make our work fit the time slot needing to be filled. We value hours worked over tasks completed. What is wrong with us? Time is our most precious commodity, yet we waste it on pointless tasks.
Now I know what some of you are thinking. “Bryan, I get paid by the number of hours I work.” I understand, but hear me out. What if you increased your productivity during those hours? How long do you think it would take before your boss would notice? Do you think that could lead to a raise or promotion? People that get work done more efficiently than others will always be in high demand. It may not pay off for you immediately, but it will in the long run.
Focus on productive hours, not hours spent. Get the work done and move on to the next task.