Are You Productive or Just Busy?

By Roz Jones

Have you ever observed someone who seems to be busy all the time, but doesn’t really get anything done?  Do you feel that sometimes you’re in the same boat?  How do you know if you’re productive or just busy? It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the everyday tasks when taking care of a loved one. As a caregiver it’s important that we manage our time efficiently, not only to give proper care to our loved one, but to also make the necessary time to take care of ourselves.

Do you have goals?  People who are productive generally have goals and focus all of their work on achieving those goals. Of course there are always going to be distractions and obstacles when taking care of a loved one but those distractions don’t take priority over the big picture.

Do you focus or multi-task?  People who multi-task often seem very busy.  They’re always doing something, but they’re rarely doing any one thing very well. Tackle each obstacle you face as a caregiver directly, you’ll be more productive if you focus on doing one thing at a time.

Do you delegate?  Sometimes you may take on tasks that would really be better to delegate to someone else. It can be easy to want to say yes to every task because you want to provide for your loved one. But you might be able to delegate personal tasks while keeping the focus on business tasks. This will improve the quality of care given to your loved one, and minimize the personal burnout you feel as a caregiver.

Do you say no?  People who are productive know how to say no to something that is going to take them away from their own important work.  It’s okay to say no when you really don’t have time to fit in one more thing. Don’t feel guilty when saying no to certain tasks related to your loved one. Instead, feel reassured knowing that this will benefit both of you in the long run.

Do you let some things go?  It may sound counterproductive to erase some tasks from your to-do list.  But you may find that you have given yourself tasks that really won’t move your vision forward and will take up extra time.  It’s okay to scratch something off the list and go a different way.

Do you have a schedule?  People who are productive tend to have a schedule for each day of what needs to be done and when.  If you’re not planning ahead, chances are you’re staying busy but not productive.

Do you complete projects?  You can be busy doing something all day long, every day and never get a project completed.  If you find you’re starting a lot of things without finishing them, it’s time to look at your priorities and become more productive.

Do you feel peace?  When you spend your time very busy but not accomplishing much you might feel a sense of anxiety. You may worry about all the things you need to do that aren’t getting done. Try as best as you can to remain present in each moment. Rather than expressing a sense of anxiety, this will help you express gratitude appreciating the time you get to spend with your loved one.

But when you’re productive, you can actually feel peace when it comes to work.  You know what’s important and you have a plan to get it done on time. 

It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the everyday tasks when taking care of a loved one. As a caregiver it’s crucial that we manage our time efficiently. Not only to provide the utmost of quality care to our loved one but to also make the necessary time to take care of ourselves. If you are struggling with how to manage your time, you need to pre-order my new book, Lifted. It will include a workbook that will help you work through each step!

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