Are you being productive or just active?

When you’re self-employed your ability to get stuff done is a key skill. Being productive has to be a high priority. This quick tip will help you work on the stuff that’s most important.

Focus is key when you have a tonne of stuff to do and (what seems like) not enough time to do it.

The idea is that you regularly ask yourself : “Am I being productive or just active?”

In this short video you’ll learn how this simple but powerful tool that can help you re-program your brain to make you more productive.


One of the biggest challenges that we face when we’re self employed is distraction and focus. They often go hand in hand.

We have way too much distraction, things bleeping and dinging, et cetera, and popping up and flashing email reminders, notifications on our phones, social media reminders, etc.

The issue is that when you take your eye off of what you were doing and then come back, it can take you anywhere up to 15 minutes to refocus on where you were.

Now, I created a recording not long ago on switching things off and how important that is for your focus. But I’d like to share with you a very quick tip, or at least a very simple concept that helped me to really start to chip away at my ability to get stuff done.

And I know this has worked for loads of other people too.

Now, I read business books all the time and I’ve usually got one on the go. And I probably read anywhere up to somewhere between 15 and 20 books a year. And I learn something from every one of them.

But, I saw this little notification in The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, which helps people to get focused and it literally says:

Am I being productive, or just active?

Now, have a think about that. Are you being productive or just active when you’re self-employed or running a small business? It can be easy to just be doing all the time doing stuff.

But doing stuff doesn’t always mean that you’re being productive and doing the right stuff.

Are you being productive or just active?  Auckland Marketing Club
Put this where you can see it every day

There are way too many things which take our eye off the ball. And sadly, it’s way too easy to get into the habit of just being pulled all over the place by all of these distractions.

So I have this little notice opposite my desk in the office and I look at it several times a day and read it out to myself: “Am I being productive or just active?”

Now, what this does, it starts to question your subconscious. And what it will also do will make you think about the things that you do on a regular basis that may not necessarily be productive.

So the key point of this message is that put this sign up somewhere, have it printed out like I’ve done (my daughter created the poster).

Put this sign somewhere where you can see it. Read it to yourself at the beginning of the day, Several times throughout the day, and then at the end of the day as you’re leaving the office.

I promise you within a week, if you do this, you will be so much more productive because you’ll be working on your subconscious and that will help you. You’ll be working on the things that make a difference.

You’ll be working on the key things, the getting stuff done things. You’ll be making a difference with serving your customers and doing more of the things you’re getting paid for.

You’ll be productive and less stuff in the activity and busyness of being in business.

Got a question or comment? Just ask below:

Want more on ‘getting stuff done’? Check out:

How to beat perfectionism with a ‘good enough’ approach (Article and podcast)

Do you really want what you say you want? (YouTube video)

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