Productive or Busy

Seth Godin asks:

Is productive the same as busy?

No one complains of having spent an entire day doing ‘productive work’. Busywork, on the other hand, is mindnumbing.

It’s possible that if you have a job where your tasks (your busy-ness) is programmed by someone else, that being busy is your job.

For everyone else, though, busy might be precisely the opposite of productive.


David Allen has updated his classic book, “Getting Things Done.” Recommended–highly.




How do we wind up on the “productive” side of Godin’s question?


We do it by thinking. And then by defining “next actions.” The key is to think through all the “stuff” you must do or accomplish, defining just what the desired outcome looks like, and then figuring out all the things you must do next–“next actions”–to further your project.


Few things contribute to work anxiety more than finishing a task and then wondering what you should do next. If you have disciplined yourself into a way of life like GTD and are using a support application (I use Nozbe with great success).


As we reach the end of the year and we begin to reflect on what we accomplished relative to what we had hoped to accomplish, perhaps now is the time to get serious about productivity.

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