Recently read an article by Francisco Santos, Regional Director for H&R Block, where he wrote about Being Busy Isn’t the Same as Being Productive. He is correct. When I sit down to write, sometimes I am just busy – checking reviews, sales results, straightening paper in the tray, making sure there are plenty of paperclips in the holder, etc. None of these things are unimportant but are they important? Are they productive? The short answer is no, not when my goal was to write.
Mr. Santos states as humans we strive and are wired to be busy. Even when we are just sitting around, our mind is busy and frequently we have something to work on in our laps (knitting, carving, eating, reading, playing a musical instrument, planning a takeover of the world, etc.) Becoming productive isn’t something you just find yourself doing. How do you get from busy to productive?
For me, the move to being productive is a conscious step. I make the decision to write, even if the writing is terrible; it is productive as it will lead to better writing. While checking on my paperclip supply serves a purpose, but it doesn’t move me to be a productive writer unless my story is about paperclips and then its research.