Grab your FREE copy of the 60 Low & No Cost PR & Marketing Strategies eBook*



*By submitting your email, you will receive the eBook & also sign-up for Carol’s newsletter
Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Busyness Is Not the Right Metric

Written By: Catherine Morgan | Comments Off on Busyness Is Not the Right Metric

The working title of this post was “The Badge of Busyness Is BS,” which pretty much sums up what I think about busyness in general, and the term crazy-busy specifically.

I also have issues with people who are more than happy to tell you how many hours they usually work – like they deserve a cookie.

I have been known to go into a full-on rant about this topic during my Productivity: The Secret Sauce for Success talk, trying to get the audience to commit to banning the term crazy-busy from their vocabulary.

Let’s face it: The baseline for life these days is busy. Few people are sitting around doing nothing. Even if you’re not working on a business or at a job, you probably have child care or elder care responsibilities. You might even have both!

When I am working with my clients in career transition, I tell them that looking for a job is not a full-time job. The air generally goes out of the room when I say this. I assure them that they can probably get the same amount done in a much shorter window of time. Adding in constraints, even ones that you know you could move, will make you get more done.

Busyness vs. Productivity

Busyness is clocking hours that may or may not be productive. Watching cat videos on YouTube shouldn’t be counted as time spent working. Sometimes you are on a deadline and you will work crazy hours. Sometimes you might just be goofing off.

Productivity, however, is doing the right things. The valuable things. The things that matter and will move your business forward.

That shiny object new product or service? Maybe it should go in the productivity column. Or maybe the distraction column.

Busyness and Overwhelm

The hamster wheel of busyness is a ticket to overwhelm. Having a ton to do but not knowing where to start is frustrating and exhausting, and makes you want to take a nap.

Having one or just a few scary things to do can send you into overwhelm, too.

However, Michael Port says, “Overwhelm is caused by not knowing what to do, not by having too much to do.”

This is true! We’ve all had times when we had a ton to do and everything got done with laser focus and elegant simplicity.

Better Metrics to Use

So, if busyness is the wrong metric, what is the right one? I don’t think there’s one right metric, but here are some measurable things to consider:

  • Revenue Growth
  • Profitability
  • Productivity
  • Enthusiasm

Now these are valuable, and will help you achieve your goals.

Can I convince you to move past this busyness nonsense and start measuring and working on things that actually matter? Please?

Article written by
Catherine Morgan is the founder of Point A to Point B Transitions Inc., a virtual provider of coaching services to individuals who are in business or career transition. She specializes in helping entrepreneurs transition to corporate jobs they love. Catherine is the author of the eBook Re-Launch You: Discovering Your Point B and Embracing Possibility. An experienced independent consultant who was employed by three of the former Big Five consulting firms, Catherine speaks frequently on topics related to career transition, small business, productivity, and mental health. She doesn’t take herself seriously, but takes her subject matter very seriously.