I was talking the other day with a friend who mentioned that he was “tired of working long hours without getting much satisfaction out if it”. He also complained that his relationship with his wife and kids has suffered, due to the lack of time he has to be with them.
Unfortunately this is something very common. Many people are so busy that they are not able to take some time off or to focus on other important areas of their life, such as their health and fitness, their relationship with their family or their personal development.
There are different ways to address this issue, but today I want to touch on a very simple but powerful concept: Understanding the difference between activity and accomplishment.
As Mark Sanborn clearly puts it: “Activity is an input. Accomplishment is an output, a result”.
I am talking about knowing the difference between “being busy” doing all the tasks and activities in our “to-do lists” and learning to focus in the most valuable activities, which are the ones that give us the greatest accomplishment.
A great question you can ask yourself when you are “being busy”:
Is what I am doing right now getting me any closer to accomplish anything?
If the answer is no … well… Stop doing it! and move on to those high value activities that will help you achieve something.
Other very good questions that you can ask yourself at the end of the day are:
What have I really accomplished today?
From all what I have done today, what has any lasting value?
Once you start focusing on accomplishment, you will stop wasting precious time on low-value activities, which means you will have more time to focus on the really important things.
Your job satisfaction will improve, you will be able to work on those areas apart from work that are important for you to focus on, and as a result, your relationship with peers, colleagues, friends and family will also improve.
Take into consideration this great quote from Mark Sanborn: “Activity can be an anesthesia for lack of accomplishment”
So please, do not to use “being busy” as an excuse to not being able to improve your performance or to reach our goals. Do not focus on just “doing things“. Focus on accomplishment.