Being Busy Isn’t the Same as Productive

Let’s get this straight right off—there is busy and there is productive. The majority of people are the former. The minority, the latter. But the busy majority are the most vocal, constantly spouting off about how much work they have and that they couldn’t possibly squeeze one more thing into their day. How do I know?

Because if there was a town of such people, I would be the former mayor.

Here are my Mayor McBusy credentials:

  • I was up by 5:00 a.m. every weekday.
  • I was at by desk by 5:10 a.m., tops.
  • I could be found still in my pajamas at noon.
  • I often ignored the laws of personal hygiene.
  • My busy day was a source of pride.
  • I made it a point to let everyone know how busy I was.

Oh, and one more thing…As it turned out, I was lying to myself!

As it turned out, I was making a common mistake. I was confusing busy with productive. The lie came when I told myself how much work I was doing and how much I was getting done.

Not true.

In actuality, yes, I was busy. But I wasn’t getting nearly as much done as I thought I was—and certainly not as much as I am getting done now.

Now, I get up at 6 a.m. and start work no earlier than 7:30 a.m. Call me at 4:59 p.m. and I will answer. But at 5:01 p.m., I am out of the office.



  • I mow my lawn while it is still daylight.
  • My golf handicap is down by four strokes.
  • My guitar skills have improved dramatically.
  • My stress level is that of a Tibetan monk…only with hair. And an iPhone.
  • I do not work on weekends. Ever!

While those benefits are probably unimpressive to you, they mean a lot to me. Oh, and the best part? I AM GETTING TWICE THE WORK DONE IN 50 PERCENT LESS TIME.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • Mary Beth Smith

    Guitar??? I will plan to see you in the Printerverse where we shall face off with Guitar Hero. If we’re not too busy.

    Peace and Love from the Girls Who Print…

  • Cheryl B

    … So did you have to train your clients as well? I find myself answering emails until late at night sometimes, if there’s an emergency. But it’s almost like an addiction! I think I’ll just answer one, next thing I know an hour has passed! Your article’s a good reminder that it’s easy to set boundaries as it is to break them. Best, Cheryl at