164 – Be Productive, Not Busy

In this episode, I want to clarify once and for all what it means to be productive versus what it needs to be busy. Most people think that if they are busy, then they are being productive. But often being busy has nothing to do with being productive.

In episode 159, I gave you ten things that you could do to be more productive right now.  Those are all things that will help you get things done, not just make you busy for the sake of being busy.

It’s pretty common for real estate investors, and business people in general, to have a long list of things that they want to do each day, and to run around trying to get them done–being very inefficient and wasting a lot of time. The goal for any business person or entrepreneur should be to get as much done in as little time as possible. My definition of efficiency is exactly that: getting a lot done in a relatively small amount of time, without wasting a lot of energy.

A great way of ensuring productivity is reducing the amount of wasted time. Try to get similar things done at the same time. In other words, if you have to review a contract, send some emails, and look at some properties online, you should do all of those things in one sitting, if possible. Don’t separate the activities that can all be done at the same time. Separating those activities will keep you busy by requiring you to go back to the computer over and over again. You will start becoming unproductive, but very busy.

There are entrepreneurs  who absolutely love the idea of being extremely busy all day long; they are rarely successful. As a matter of fact, the idea of being “busy” almost implies a lack of production. I am learning more and more that, the busier I get, the more I need to hire people to do the extra work. I need to make sure that I am not busy, but rather looking forward and steering the ship. To use a car metaphor: if I’m constantly messing with the mirrors, changing the radio station, and adjusting the air conditioning, I am not looking at the road and guiding the car safely.

I think this episode pretty much speaks for itself. I do not intend to beat you over the head with a bunch of examples. You know if you are staying busy or being productive in your business. If you’re running around all day like crazy, but can’t list the things that you accomplished that were important, then you are just keeping busy, you’re not being productive.

Tomorrow, you should get everything on your to-do list and put a checkmark by the things that you could easily transfer to someone else. Then start thinking about who you can transfer them to. Maybe it’s your spouse. Maybe it’s a friend, or your children. Maybe it’s a virtual assistant. Start thinking along those lines and you will be on your way to being more productive.

About the author, Mike

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