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When did "busy" become productive?

If you are a business owner, a freelancer, or if you’re just trying to reduce your workload…you need to stop thinking that being busy equates to being valuable ($$$). Period. Evaluate. Is every email, text, DM, phone call, book/article you are reading, video, and meeting providing value to you and/or your company? Or is it just making you feel good because you are “busy,” when you are actually just masking the true problems that you may be facing with tasks that seem productive. For example, if you’re sitting at work at the end of the day and you stay an extra hour thinking you’re doing the team a favor, or for the off chance that your boss may see you’re putting in the “extra time,” are you really providing any extra value? Are you most efficient at this hour? Or would your time be better spent leaving to beat the traffic, going home to do something you enjoy, and then going into work the next day with a clear mind and fresh energy to get started right where you left off.   Get organized. One thing I’ve learned (the hard way) is that filling my schedule with a lot of different things—meetings, email chains, phone calls-- without prior planning, causes a lot of stress and a lot of unnecessary time spent on management, when it could have been easily avoided in the first place with a simple plan. The lack of organization and structure leads to mix-ups, lateness, and more opportunities to fail. However, when I focus on producing value and spreading that value to every person I sit down with, being on time, and being present and listening more, I put myself in a better position to succeed in that moment and in the long run.  If you set yourself up to succeed in 5 minute increments, you are going to succeed in the days, weeks, years, and decades that follow!

The Reality

Less work, more value. There is one major problem I have witnessed first-hand with myself and with many others. Most of us think that to get that “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” we need to do as much “work” as possible. But what is “work”? Is it emails, texts, meetings, excel sheets, presentations? We made up this word, “work.” We “work” so hard and spread ourselves so thin because we are told "working” hard is what is going to get us "there" (define your own there). Rather, we must start teaching others to focus on gaining valuable life skills and transferring those skills to other people. When we focus on the skills and value we gain for ourselves, we spread this knowledge to others and help make this world a better place. Aka teach a man to fish and he can save his whole village. Give the man some fish, he will come back and ask for more tomorrow. By taking small steps toward making the world a better place, we are succeeding at our mission from the beginning. For most people, that mission is happiness.   Thrive. This week I challenge you to stop focusing on “work,” and transition to focusing on VALUE! What are you providing, not only to yourself, but also to other people? Did you learn something new today? Are you happy with what you are learning? If you are not happy with what you are learning at your “job,” then why are you doing it? Is it going to provide you value in the long run?!? Define the values that you want to learn, then unleash them on the world. #thriveon