One of the misleading concepts many people have is that being busy at work means being “productive.” Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a big difference between the two. If people realize the exact difference between the two terms, they’ll be more focused on the things that need to be done rather than doing the things just for the sake of “doing” them.

Difference Between Being Busy And Being Productive

If you feel that your days are hectic and you are constantly working but never seem to accomplish any task, then you are indeed busy.

On the other hand, if you’re calm and focused during the day and you feel that many of your mission-related tasks and projects have been smoothly accomplished, then at the end of the day you can say that you were productive.

To clarify further, you need to identify the tasks that keep you busy but aren’t productive.

Tasks that keep you busy all day long but are not productive at all include:

1.    Conducting too many meetings

2.    Checking every little e-mail

3.    Making phone calls or chatting with co-workers

4.    Updating your social media profiles too often

5.    Excessive reading of industry news and blogs

These tasks are labeled as non-productive because they are really time consuming. There is no problem in the task itself as they are all basic office work. The problem is in the amount of time allocated in accomplishing these tasks. Since these tasks are on-going and administrative in nature, they consume a lot of time.

Now, the question is, how can you stay productive while accomplishing these tasks? The best solution for this is to remove all the interruptions that arise in the middle of these tasks. The less the interruptions, the more productive you’ll be at work.

But how you can avoid the interruptions? Here are some ways by which you can eliminate them and turn your day into a more productive one:

1.    Keep Meetings Short

Before attending the meeting, ask what it will be about. If you find it irrelevant, then do not attend it. This is because the more time you’ll spend in attending a meeting, the less you’ll be productive at work. So, in order to be more productive and accomplish the most out of your tasks, you need to divide your work time accordingly. If you’re organizing the meeting yourself, keep it as brief as possible (almost 30 to 45 minutes) since long meetings will mess up your routine.

2.    Check Your E-Mail Only Twice A Day

According to experts, you should check your e-mail at least twice – once in the morning and then in the afternoon. During the remaining hours, only focus on your work by logging off the Internet, closing the Outlook and turning off the cell phone.

3.    Limit Phone Calls

Minimize your time on the phone. Limit it to only a few times in a day. The best thing to do is to leave a voice-mail message for the other person to tell him when you’ll be available to receive calls. Filter the messages and first respond to those that are urgent. If you don’t want to miss any calls you can return them during your lunch time or after completing your work, since the point here is not to get interrupted in what you’re doing. Keep your conversations brief whenever you respond to the phone calls at your work.

4.    Avoid Social Networking

Constantly staying connected and updating your status on Facebook and retweeting your friends’ tweets isn’t productive at all. Instead of managing your social media profile, you can utilize your time in creating something valuable or accomplishing some other important task.

5.    Keep Yourself Away From Newspapers And Blogs

Although keeping yourself updated with the latest news is extremely important today, consuming too much time in reading news and blogs is never productive. You should schedule this task and keep it for some time later when you’re done with your work or during your lunch break. Also, do not spend more than 10 minutes in reading the paper. Save your time for other important tasks that you have to accomplish in the day.

Thus, you should always keep your focus on the tasks that you need to accomplish, not the ones that you have to do. If you checking emails continuously or updating your social media profile, then other important tasks are likely to be left behind. So, change this pattern today and follow the rules on how to be productive but not busy.