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Being More Productive Requires Being Less Busy

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Being busy is easy. It’s easy to see. It’s easy to achieve. With the economic slowdown, it’s also a huge temptation. Everyone’s being asked to do more with less. The sweat on my brow from all my hard work is proof that I’m doing more with less. But for what purpose and with what impact?

Being productive is harder. Much harder. It requires a focus on impacts rather than activities. It means achieving more with less. In business processes, it’s much harder to see than raw effort. That which can’t be seen + measured is likely to remain elusive.

Processes have goals + intended outcomes. Activities need to be seen + measured in the context of their contributions to achieving desired goals + outcomes. Then and only then will the seeds be sown for really becoming more productive. Then and only then will we buffet the pressures to reach fruitlessly for more productivity by merely being busier.

Perhaps it’s time for business leaders to slow down, take a breath, and reach for new ways of doing business that improve productivity at a time when it’s most required. Being busy, and getting busier, is a recipe for missing the boat.

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