Why Being Productive Is Killing Your Business

There’s so much talk about productivity when you’re an entrepreneur. People always try to have a “productive” day, there are productivity apps for every conceivable aspect of business, and in fact, it you Google “how to be productive in business”, you’ll get over 123 million responses.
But even though being “productive” has become almost like a merit badge for business owners, if you let it it will absolutely kill your business.

Here’s the thing: there’s a difference between being productive (AKA producing a lot of things, finishing a lot of tasks) and being effective.

You’re probably getting a lot of things done if you’re productive — for instance, you may answer a ton of email, organise your drawers, schedule three meetings, start an ebook, buy a training course, and post things on Facebook every 20 minutes, and that would probably feel great because hey, look at how much you did in the day!

But if you’re just doing these things without some specific end goal in mind, chances are they’re not doing your business any favours.

What if instead of doing all of that, you just spent one day doing something that you knew would hugely benefit your business, like finishing a course you’re going to sell, or writing all of your blog posts for the quarter, or having that one really important, game changing meeting with a client (and prepping all day for it)?

It would feel like you’re doing a lot less, because after all, you’re just doing one thing instead of many. But the payoff would be immensely more.

You’re running a business, not a hobby — everything you do for your business needs to have a legitimate return on investment.

This means that they way you spend your time and energy has to have a ROI just like any monetary investment, because after all, as the business owner you’re the business’s biggest asset.

Believe me, there are some days where I feel like I’d like nothing better than to clone myself so that I could get more done. But what I’ve learned throughout years of running businesses is that the way to accomplish amazing things isn’t to do a lot of stuff.

It’s to use your resources strategically, to think really carefully about the steps you’ll need to take to reach your goal, and only then to throw your energy into it.

Here’s what it all comes down to:

There’s always going to be something more to do, so if you want to be productive, then by all means go for it.

But if you want to be effective, then you’ll need to take a step back, figure out what you really want, and then work strategically rather than just a lot.