In this episode, we unpack the difference between being busy and being productive because they are NOT the same thing. They produce wildly different experiences, both for our physical and mental health. Busy is not our friend! I want better for you, I want you to be living a happy, joy-filled life right in that productivity zone, so let’s jump in.
This will help:
👉 You get off the busyness treadmill to nowhere
👉 Busy mompreneurs step into their power of productivity
👉 You to creatively find solutions to balance the busy and be more productive
In this episode:
1:02 The Difference Between Busy and Productive
3:21 The Research Says….
5:34 We Are All Guilty of the Busy Badge of Honor
6:49 Step Into Your Productive Power
9:34 Clarity of Purpose
14:36 You’ve Got to be Creative
Busy vs Productive
If productivity is a finish line, busyness is a treadmill. You might feel like you’re going somewhere, but you’re actually never moving at all. That’s busyness. It feels chaotic and frantic and often creates thoughts like ‘things will get better next week’ (which they don’t), or ‘things feel out of control’ (which they are, but it’s solvable – so keep listening/reading). But maybe the most obvious way to know that you’re stuck in the busy-trap is at the end of the day when you’re you’re exhausted from go-go-going, and your head hits the pillow and even though you feel like you never stopped, you’re not sure what you even did?
Productivity can also feel exhausting at the end of the day, but it’s different. When your head hits the pillow, you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. You can have a completely full calendar, schedule, and life, but it doesn’t feel busy, it just feels full… Which, honestly, is a great place to be. Idleness isn’t your friend either, and if you’re up to your eyeballs I get that you might disagree in this moment. I’ve been there I get it. But the real goal is fulfillment.
The Research Says…
Research has shown that being busy can lead to higher levels of stress and anxiety, as well as burnout. It can disrupt sleep, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and reduce productivity, (which is so funny because we interchange them and yet being too busy actually reduces productivity). A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that busyness is associated with higher levels of psychological distress, lack of enjoyment in your life, and lower levels of life satisfaction.
On the flip side, research has shown that being productive can lead to a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. A study conducted by the same American Psychological Association – the same institution that did the research on busyness, also found that those who are productive are more likely to experience a sense of well-being, increased self-esteem, and better physical and mental health.
It is literally good for us to be productive and bad for us to be too busy. Additionally, a survey conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health found that productive individuals reported higher levels of life satisfaction and less stress than their non-productive counterparts.
So it’s super, super clear that busy = not good and productivity = very good.
Step Into Your Productive Power
I’m going to share with you my three C’s of productivity and help you step away from the treadmill to nowhere and into your personal productive power.
You must know your “why.” It’s so important to understand your core values. What is the most important role you play and what are your non-negotiables? We could go so much deeper because we could talk about how we would then set some boundaries to help us stay closer to our purpose. I’ve got so many different episodes (here’s one) that can help you take this all deeper, but we’ve got to start with this clarity of purpose.
This commitment isn’t just to our goals. This isn’t just about committing to being productive in the things that we want to do. It’s also about prioritizing our mental and physical health. Because think about it, when we’re busy, we let things slide. What’s the first thing to go when you think, “oh my gosh, I’m so busy today.“
The first things we let go of are really the things that are most important. We decide: I can’t get my exercise in, I can’t get healthy eating in, and end up just going through the drive-through or grabbing that super processed food that fuels us totally wrong and makes us crash. Busyness gets us to drop our self-care, while productivity encourages us to lift higher and stay committed to the things that are important.
In order to have full, incredible lives that are productive and powerful, we’ve got to be creative in how we do it all. We need to find ways to infuse fun and joy, and that takes creativity. We need to find ways to let other people help us, and that takes creativity too. We are meant to be creative. That’s how we work best. We will be successful when we focus on creatively finding paths to have more joy and to let people help us along the way.
So there you have it. There is busyness and there is productivity, and they are not the same thing. I want to see you embrace productivity. You deserve it. Your family deserves it. Your health, your longevity, your vibrance, and your vitality depend on you choosing productivity over busyness. It takes more commitment, but it’s worth it!
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[00:00:00] Leah: Welcome my friend to The Balancing Busy Podcast. I am your host, Leah mla, here to help you do less but better. And today we are unpacking the difference between being busy. And being productive because they, my friend, are not the same thing. And they produce wildly different experiences, both for our physical and mental health.
[00:00:57] So let’s jump in now to jump in. I think, first off, let’s just define the difference between being busy and being productive. Busy is a state of mind where you feel overwhelmed and like you don’t have enough. while productive is a state of mind where you feel accomplished and that you’re making progress.
[00:01:17] So there’s kind of our baseline, busy versus productive. If productive is a finish line, busyness is a treadmill. You might feel like you’re going somewhere, but you’re actually never moving at. busyness. It feels chaotic and frantic and less controlled.
[00:01:34] It’s a million things on a to-do list, many of which you did not choose, and you don’t actually want to do the things on your list at all, whereas productivity feels fulfilling. , it can absolutely be exhausting. Okay? Like it can be exhausting. But when your head finally hits the pillow at night, you have this sense of accomplishment.
[00:02:00] In contrast, busyness, you’re trying to figure out what you did that day, even though you never stopped going. Have you ever felt that? Like you lay your head down on the pillow, you finally crawl under the covers, and you. , what did I even do today? And yet you never stopped moving. But it’s hard to pinpoint that’s being stuck in the busyness trap, and we want to move you out of that and move you into a productivity state of mind.
[00:02:31] Now that doesn’t mean that your calendar necessarily gets easier or has less in it. I would happily say and admit that I have a very full calendar, full schedule, full life, but I don’t feel busy. I don’t feel. Frantic or, or chaotic. And so I wanna share and talk with you deeper about these differences.
[00:02:58] And just my hope is to get you to really start thinking about this word busyness and not use it casually. You know what I’m talking about? How are you doing? Oh, so busy. We’ll get into that more, but I wanna help you to replace this mindset of busyness with better. Okay. Research has shown that being busy can lead to, oh man, this is such a doozy of a list.
[00:03:27] Higher levels of stress and anxiety, as well as burnout. It can disrupt sleep, increase risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce productivity, which is so funny because we interchange them and yet being too busy actually reduces productivity and it decreases just overall across the board in our well. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that busyness is associated with higher levels of psych, psychological distress, lack of enjoyment in your life, and lower levels of life satisfaction being too busy.
[00:04:10] And I’m going to add to. With the things that aren’t really important, they’re not our core values. It is literally bad for our health, bad for our family, and bad for our kids. Now let’s talk about what the research says about being productive because there is a difference between a full active lots going on life.
[00:04:33] And being too busy. Okay, so the research has shown that being productive can lead to a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. A study conducted by the same American Psychological Association that did the research on the busyness. Also found that those who are productive are more likely to experience a sense of wellbeing, increased self-esteem, and better physical and mental health.
[00:05:02] It is literally good for us to be productive and bad for us to be too busy. Additionally, a survey conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health found that productive individuals reported higher levels of life satisfaction and less stress than their non-productive counterparts. So super, super clear, busy, not good productivity.
[00:05:25] Very good. So where do you fall? How often? When asked how you doing? Do the words busy? Make it into your answer. We’re all guilty. That’s okay. I just want us to have a real conversation where we start thinking about busyness differently, where we start. . Identifying and acknowledging that busyness should not be a badge of honor.
[00:05:49] And here’s the truth. That’s how a lot of us wear it. We wear busyness like a badge of honor, and I get it. Why wouldn’t we? If we’re busy, then we must be in demand. We must be of value. We must be important, right? Like the busier we are, the more valuable we feel like we are. And people will say to us, oh my gosh, I know how busy you are.
[00:06:08] And it makes us. We’re important, but is this actually true? We all know someone who’s always quote unquote busy, but they’re running on a treadmill. Maybe you feel like that’s you, and that could be you. Right? Now, remember we’re in seasons, right? So you might have a season where you’re like, oh my gosh, this is me.
[00:06:31] I am like in the busy trap. and you’re gonna get out of it. You’re gonna find your way, and then you might slip back in, and then now you’re gonna be armed with the knowledge to recognize and be like, whoa, what is happening here? And change it and make those adjustments. Here’s how I keep myself off the busy train and in my productive power now.
[00:06:51] I am not perfect. You are not perfect. None of us are. I am not every single day of my life, always in this productive zen, okay? There are days where I am completely unproductive and I’m. We’re doing nothing. There are also days where I’m like, oh man, I overdid it. I didn’t plan accordingly. I didn’t set myself up for success and I’m feeling more on that side of busy.
[00:07:13] So I wanna be really clear about that. Like, this is not about us figuring out how to be perfect cuz we’re not gonna do that. Life comes in seasons, it comes, you know, in tides, right? Sometimes the tide’s up, sometimes it’s down. Sometimes we’re like, I got time to spare. And other times we’re like, what? I wouldn’t give for one more.
[00:07:31] Or one more day. So there is seasons within without all of this, but my goal is to help us to first be aware of the busyness trap and how absolutely not good it is for us. And second, To with that awareness arm us to be able to get a little bit more excited about staying in productivity, staying in this more positive space, which is very much an abundance mindset versus that busyness, which is definitely.
[00:08:02] in the scarcity realm for sure. Right. Busyness. There’s never enough time. There’s never enough of us. There’s all these things we don’t wanna do. We don’t like, oh my gosh, I have to go from here to here, to here. I mean, like you, you, I feel the anxiety and the anxiousness and the, like, the, that just, you know, icky feeling inside of me.
[00:08:18] Just saying that there is such a difference when we wake up and we’re like, I know exactly what I wanna accomplish. , it feels good. It’s in alignment with my core values, with my purpose, with who I am. It doesn’t mean we love every single job. I mean, there are tasks that I need to do from time to time that are, are not my favorite things, that’s just real life.
[00:08:41] But I’m still focused on trying to stay in productivity and not let myself slip into the busyness. And it’s about forming better habits and greater awareness. . You know, this idea of sometimes we’ll say like, well, I didn’t mean to, okay, but we have to work harder to not let it happen again. Right. I feel like I have that conversation with my, with my teenagers sometimes, you know, I say, Hey, you just did this.
[00:09:07] Well, I didn’t mean to, okay, but it still happened. We gotta work harder to be better and to fight for this better version of us and for our life because we deserve it and because we’re worth it. So back to. . Keeping myself in that space of productive power more of the time. Here’s how I do it, number one, and they’re all Cs.
[00:09:33] So easy to remember. Kay, it’s my three Cs of productivity. First, clarity of purpose. So see, number one, clarity. You gotta know what is your why, what are your core values? What is the most important role you. , what is it that is your non-negotiables. Okay, so clarity of purpose. And within this we could go so much deeper because we could talk about how we then set some boundaries to help us stay closer to our purpose.
[00:10:01] And I’ve got so many different episodes that can help you take this all deeper, but we’re starting with this clarity of purpose. Second is commitment. Okay, so second C, commitment. And this isn’t. To my goals. This isn’t just to being productive in the things that I want to do. It’s also in prioritizing my mental and physical health.
[00:10:30] When we’re busy, we let things slide. Right? What, what’s the first thing when you’re like, oh my gosh, I’m so busy today. The first things we let go of are really the things that are most important. Can’t get my exercise in, can’t get good eating in. I’m gonna just run through the drive-through or grab that super processed food that, you know, fuels us totally wrong and it’s gonna make us crash.
[00:10:50] Then you’re gonna be like, oh, I need more caffeine because, well, the food, it’s this horrible domino effect, right? Like busyness gets us to. our self-care where productivity encourages us to lift our self-care higher. Can you see that? Like when I’m being more productive, I’m sitting here and I’m like, I gotta drink my water and I gotta get good sleep and I gotta eat.
[00:11:15] Foods that are so good for me and I gotta go get movement even today, even as I’m recording this podcast. I mean, I’ll just share with you what is around me. I’ve got my Greek yogurt with my organic raspberries. That was my snack. I had a two hour coaching call earlier today, and then I had another meeting 30 minutes later and I was like, you know what?
[00:11:35] I need to get up and move. So I hurry. And I got up and I did a very, very brisk walk around the neighborhood with, with my dog, and it was just so good. And you. Just to make myself sound even crazier, um, I, I didn’t have my phone. My daughter needed it, and so I had no phone, so I was gonna listen to a personal development book, and I couldn’t, and so I just talked out loud to my dog and went over my, my things that I was grateful for and my wins.
[00:12:04] I was, Let’s, let’s try to think about, my dog’s name is Kuk and I was like, Kuk, what are we grateful for? What, where have, where are we seeing winds in our lives? I literally spent this like 15 minute walk just hurrying around the neighborhood. Thinking about, you know, what I was grateful for and, and where I was being successful.
[00:12:22] And then I came back and I’m like, I am, I’m really, um, enjoying these, uh, little, uh, like they’re little packets you put into your water that are full of vitamins and, and things. And so I made my little, uh, my little water with that in it. So I’ve been drinking that. I am doing all of these things that allow.
[00:12:47] To step into that better version of myself now, my day has been really, really full. I’ve been up since 5:00 AM. I taught my early morning religion class until 6:20 AM I came home, I prepped as quickly as I could, working on a big client project. Then I had a two hour coaching call. Then I had my, you know, quick brisk walk I told you about.
[00:13:12] Then I had a meeting, um, then I got done with that and I was like, I wanna get two podcast episodes recorded and bashed and done. And so there’s a, there’s a lot, but I don’t feel busy. I feel fulfilled, like, like my day is full, my life is full, but it doesn’t. Frantic. I hope that makes sense. I hope that understands and I hope you’re knowing that I’m telling you this.
[00:13:43] Not in any way to be like, Woohoo, look at me, cuz oh my goodness. Just go listen to my other episodes. Kay. There are plenty of me telling you. Let me explain to you how wrong I have gotten it in the past. So believe me. This is in my hope to inspire you and to get you just excited about knowing that if you’re looking at your plate and you’re like, I can’t take anything off of it.
[00:14:06] I hear you. I see you, and I understand that I can’t take anything off my plate either. But somehow by being able to get that clarity of. And making that commitment, yes, to the things I need to do, to doing what I say I’m gonna do, but also to prioritizing my body and my mental health to all of that. It fits, it miraculously incredibly magically all fits.
[00:14:35] And that brings me to my last C and that is creativity. In order to. Have these full incredible lives that are productive and powerful and need us in so many different ways. We’ve got to be creative in how we do it all. We need to find ways to infuse fun and joy, and that takes creativity. We need to find ways where we.
[00:15:00] Fit it in. That takes creativity. We need to find ways where we let other people help us. That takes creativity and we are meant to be creative. That’s, that’s how we work best. You know, if you think way, way back to hunters and gatherers, hunters, they know, go get food, go find what we need. But us women, the gatherers, we’re finding creative ways to use what we.
[00:15:28] that’s what we do. That’s how we embrace more productivity and say goodbye, or at least goodbye for longer periods of time. To the busyness. We focus on creatively finding paths to. have more joy to have more fun to solve our problems, to let people help us to outsource. There’s an entire incredible episode about outsourcing.
[00:15:55] So if you’re like, oh, if only, oh sister, you can have it and it’s closer than you think. I promise you go listen to that episode. So there you have it. There is busyness. And there is productivity and they are not the same thing. And I want productivity for you. You deserve it. Your family deserves it. Your health, your longevity, your vibrance, your vitality.
[00:16:24] It depends on you choosing productivity over busyness. It’s harder. It takes a little more intention, a little more. A lot more commitment, but it’s worth it. I would love to ask you to have a conversation with someone you love, with a friend, with your sister, with your mom, with your daughter, with your spouse, with someone about this idea of busyness versus productivity, and if you think it could help, share this episode with them so that you can both listen to it and then talk about it together.
[00:17:05] Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Balancing Busy Podcast. I will see you next week.Hide Transcript