Keeping Busy vs. Being Productive

Your time is precious. Your days are already packed with meetings, conference calls, overdue deliverables, and unanticipated interruptions. Working to raise your visibility in your organization and industry requires that you focus your precious time on specific activities and behaviors that help you produce results. Anyone can engage in a bevy of activities that keep them busy, yet you cannot afford that luxury. In other words, the investment of time and energy you make in your efforts to raise your visibility must be productive. What is the difference between keeping busy and being productive?

  • Keeping busy. You engage in a number of activities that exhaust your time and energy, yet these activities do not advance your professional goals. Therefore, at the end of your day, your key thought is “Where did the day go?”
  • Being productive. You engage in specific activities in which you invest the appropriate time and energy, thus advancing your goals. As a result, at the end of your day, your key thought is “What’s next?”


Have you listened to Ed’s new podcast called Be Brave @ Work? It’s all about saying what needs to be said and doing what needs to be done. Listen here!

Ed’s book Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job is available here!