The 3 Biggest Productivity Traps

Are you Productive? Or Just Really Busy?

(Content adapted with permission from “Foundations of Business Productivity” webinar presented by Sagan Morrow)

Being productive and being busy are actually very separate states and can mean the difference between living a happy, successful, and balanced life vs. being stressed, time poor and eventually burning out.

In a society where we equate being busy with being “important” (especially in the business world) it is no wonder that many of us have bought into the toxic hustle culture of measuring our worth by how much work we can do. 

The problem is that busyness is NOT productive. Hustling all week, waking up at 5am, working weekends, and keeping busy by pushing work around is not efficient or sustainable. Neither does it produce quality work.

To be productive, we must conserve and spend our energy strategically, and focus on what really makes a difference in our businesses and lives.

Top 3 Productivity Mistakes and How to Fix Them

In her webinar ““Foundations of Business Productivity” Sagan Morrow identifies the most common mistakes that she sees business owners make, and offers some tried and tested solutions:

Mistake #1: Copying Others/ Resisting Change

This looks like going through the motions. Do you copy other businesses and expect duplicate outcomes? Do you refuse to make changes? Do you question why things are done a certain way or assume that “it’s always been this way- it must be the best way”

The Fix: Try not to make assumptions about what works. Take the time to be clear and focused on priorities and the bigger picture. Be willing to pivot and try new ways of doing things. This matters because focusing on end goals and working backwards helps you to maintain perspective. All the little tasks easily lead to your bigger goal, and reduces overwhelm in the process.

Mistake #2: Overcomplicating your Business

Are you reinventing the wheel? Are you frantic when someone leaves? Often when we are too busy or think that our business is too small, we don’t stop to put systems in place.

The Fix: Take the decision making out of the process. Create systems and guides that can be utilized by all of your team. Create templates that can be used regularly and produce content that can be repurposed. This will save you energy and brainspace and make it easier to stay on track with daily goals

Mistake #3: Glorifying “Busy” Tasks

“Busy” tasks include hosting or attending meetings for the sake of meetings, and perfecting every detail of a project unnecessarily. This is often the result of us having fear or discomfort in our businesses, so we stay busy to feel like we are important and in control. Perfectionism or procrastination can give us the illusion of productivity.

The Fix: Figure out the root cause of your procrastination/ perfectionist. What are you fearful of? Take the time to be more strategic and intentional about everything that you do. An effective way to do this is to conduct daily or weekly audits to assess how your tasks align with your bigger goals. This will help you to avoid big mistakes, and get more done in less time 

Available Support

The Sidney BIA and theTown of Sidney is offering Sidney BIA members the chance to attend the Foundations of Business Productivity training session free of charge. Contact Business Development Manager, Natalie Bobrowich to register.

If you feel that you need a more in-depth overhaul, there are a number of other productivity services offered by specialists like Sagan Morrow