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Taking Action Or Just Keeping Busy?

Here is a BIG problem you will likely face to some extent and it’s something I have experienced often enough and still CATCH myself doing every now and then.

So the problem comes from the assumption that taking action = success. While on the surface it is unquestionably true, however many of us falsely assume that:

“Action = Work = Putting In The Hours”

What ends up happening (you have most likely encountered this) is that you begin doing stuff merely to keep busy. Reading emails, updating facebook, checking comments, replying messages, watching if anyone posted on your favorite fb pages yet, etc. In your mind, if you look busy, then you’re doing what you should be doing, i.e. taking “action”.

I want you to pause and think for a moment — have you ever been sitting at your PC and look back to what you have really achieved in the last hour and you can’t name anything?

I believe most of us do, including me…

And the reason is simply because taking action DOES NOT equal keeping busy!

Taking action means doing things which will directly result in Business or Personal GROWTH. It means consistently making progress and creating momentum.

The key is to first consciously examine whether you’re taking meaningful action or just doing some busy work. Below are 2 simple tricks you may consider applying them:

1). Schedule a set time each day where you can perform these busy work activities. Maybe right before you start your work day, whip out an online stopwatch (Google for it) and set it for 1 hour. Then carry out ALL the busy work for that day before the time is up, which means all email, messaging, facebook’ing, etc are completed within that 1 hour. Once the hour finished, put off everything (you can continue doing them tomorrow).

2). After that 1 hour, the remainder of the day is where you’re taking REAL action. Aim to minimize your “learning too much” time and focus on building and growing. I.e. build a project, build a list, build a marketing campaign. The building part must fill a large majority of the remaining time in your day. Under NO circumstances should you go back to those busy activities throughout your productivity hours. As I stated, this is not the time to pretend you’re learning… but in reality you’re just wasting time and delaying your growth.

You might be thinking to yourself, these self-imposed time limitations will hurt and you can’t possibly do that. But I can tell you once you get to the habit of it, you will discover that because of the time limitations, you’re ‘pushing’ yourself to making progress which will eventually leads to creating momentum and growth.

When you have momentum in whatever you do: luck, happiness, freedom, money, opportunities, etc etc… will come to you. It’s simply AMAZING how everything works.

So stop keeping busy and start creating momentum. Take action, REAL action today!

What do you think? Do you have a time management tip that works for you?  If so please share with me by writing them in a comment below. I’d love to hear your experience.

by KM Lee

KM Lee has been a self-employed geek since 2008. Currently he's working full-time from home online. You can also connect with him:

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  1. Hi just wanted to say, I enjoyed the tips you mentioned. It’s useful!

  2. I never thought I’d agree with these 2 simple tips you shared here, but I’m starting to see how I can apply them and increase my productivity. Thanks!