Being Busy Is Not Being Productive

Back in the days when I taught time management workshops, I was always comparing that being busy all day does not necessarily mean you are being productive.  Yet over the past decade I have noticed that while productivity seems to be in decline in the training function, being busy is on the rise.

My two pet peeves are when people cannot answer an email or return a phone call.  This causes the other person to send more emails and leave more messages, which not only reduces their productivity it adds more busy work to the person unable to hit reply or pickup the phone in the first place.

I know we are in countless meetings, conference calls and running from one end of the building to the other.  You will miss email and the phone ringing when you are not there to answer it, but how hard is it really to let someone know you got their message and when you will get back to them?

Being productive is getting things accomplished.  Make a list of tasks for the week, and evaluate your success at the end of the week, month, quarter and year.  Add up the amount of time you are paid to work, and honestly decide if you are productive or just busy.

The say “training is the first to go when business is hurting”, which I agree with if training is just busy, but if they are productive it is the last to go.


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