7 Differences Between Being Busy And Being Productive


There are three kinds of people in the world: lazy ones, busy ones, and productive ones. Lazy workers are known to shy away from taking up responsibilities, are less energetic, and waste valuable time contemplating getting work done. On the other hand, busy and productive people are willing to do work, are energetic and hardworking, and do not get terrified by work.

Of late, however, meaningful differences have emerged between busy people and productive ones. It is important to note that as much as both types are work-positive; they do not always arrive at the same result.

In this blog post, we’ll be sharing with you, 7 differences between busy people and unproductive people. 


  1. Busy people are doing something. Productive people are achieving something

Busy people are always occupied, moving from one task to another, and buzzing from one department to the other. The busy ones have their hands filled with what to do; there’s no given time they are without work on their desks. Even their facial expressions denote busyness, as they tend to frown often, look exasperated, or be tired. At the end of the day, they only succeed in wearing themselves out over the same tasks that will start all over, like an unending vicious cycle. That is not so with productive people.

Productive people are more interested in achieving a goal than in expending their energies pointlessly. They develop a to-do list which they trim down to the quantity they can handle for a day. They believe that it is easier to focus on doing a few tasks thoroughly without having loose ends that would lead them to go back to the same tasks all over again than to carry a list of work of unbelievable numbers. The beauty of that approach to doing is that specific goals are achieved which gives a fulfilling sense of satisfaction to the worker even if they were hard to do.

  1. Busy people are available and cannot say NO to extra tasks. Productive people are selective of tasks and have mastered the art of saying NO

Call them arrogant, productive people are not ready to sacrifice their focus and energy on tasks that are not in line with their daily plans. They are not afraid to say no to pointless jobs, regardless of the time it would consume.

Productive workers know that important jobs differ from urgent jobs and so, factor in the differences while taking up jobs. They know that there are jobs that are urgent and important, or urgent but unimportant. Some could be important and urgent, or important but not urgent. Busy people do not know which is which, and therefore, take on any job, as long as it is doable.

  1. Busy people don’t have any task execution pattern. Productive people define their working patterns.

For a busy man, the goal is to never stay idle. No matter what, be up and doing at all times. Just get something done, says the busy man. No plan, no strategy, and no system in place. His is a work life of to and fro movement, here now, there next. He easily deviate from important tasks to distracting activities like the quick answering of calls, and the intermittent checking of emails.

Not only do continuous random shifts from main tasks to distractions lower productivity, but it is very difficult to recover time lost in needless activities, but a 2005 study on workers by scientists at King’s College London University also suggests that there is a significant decrease in a distracted, busy person’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Productive people, on the other hand, have a defined work pattern that is devoid of any distractions. By this, they have taken into consideration the likely activities that can put their productivity in jeopardy hence; they assign those to the busy folks amongst them to handle. Moreover, they have got their IQs to protect.

  1. Busy people love multitasking. Productive people love concentration.

It is beautiful to be strong enough to tackle different activities at once. That shows a high level of competence by the worker. In itself, multitasking doesn’t bear any negative connotation. Nevertheless, the act of making a habit out of doing many things at once reduces the efficiency of time and energy.

Unfortunately, the busy worker isn’t aware that several tasks at a time give a half-baked turnout. Their productive counterparts multitask too, but only when there is a need for it. Also, they do that by making the most use of their time. Rather than wait till traffic clears to draw up a project schedule he planned to do in the office, a productive person gets working on it while in the helpless traffic. Their idea of multitasking is on complementing fewer time-consuming tasks with the much more time-consuming ones. But while in the office, to get the work done, it has to be done one at a time.   

  1. Busy people frown at creativity. Productive people are masters of creativity

Now you know the secret of productive workers. They do not fail to evolve new methods of getting the job done easily and faster. Rather than expend physical energy running around a mountain, they sit down to employ their mental abilities in making a way through the mountain.

Just as Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America quoted, if given six hours to chop down a tree, a productive worker is most likely to use four hours out of the six, to sharpen his axe. He doesn’t believe work must be collapsed upon. That is why he is more of a smart worker who looks like he didn’t lift any axe at the end of a tedious task. For such a person, the busy worker has indescribable envy coated with anger. He could feel cheated upon that while he had labored and toiled all day, someone else took a few hours to get around the same task without hassles. That friends is the secret of a productive person. It lies in creativity.

  1. Busy people do not value their health. Productive people put great value on their health and wellbeing

Health is wealth, and that means a lot to a productive worker. For him to achieve goals efficiently, he has to be free from ailments of the body and mind. He knows when he should rest from work. The right amount of exercise, and eating well contribute to keeping him fit to tackle tasks flawlessly.

The busy worker doesn’t have time to breathe. He is even busy during the holidays, at the night, and during lunch breaks, and there’s nothing like a free period for him. He is in the habit of grabbing a quick meal filled with unhealthy fats, and with it in one hand, runs back to his desk stacked to the ceiling with work to do. Sooner than later, his health state tells him how too busy he had really been to take care of himself.

  1. Busy people eventually get burnt out and frustrated. Productive people are always excited about their job

At the end of the workday, the busy man finds no happiness in his job as he ends up being worn out. He realizes that all he lived for was a job that seems like an endless journey. Frustration drives him to the edge of his limits.

The productive worker doesn’t see it that way. Every single time and energy he gets to spend on a task is accounted for by the goals he achieves. That alone is his motivation to do more. He always looks forward to a brand new day for more displays of creativity. The productive worker chooses his games wisely and has no regrets about committing himself to them.


In conclusion, the purpose of work is productivity. We don’t work for the sake of work. We work to get things done and make progress and that should be our sole focus. We have to focus on the important things, not on urgent things, avoid multitasking as much as possible, be creative with the way we work, and take some rest to energize ourselves for better work.

Thank you 



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