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Busy Doesn’t Pay The Bills

Megan Effertz
February 13, 2021

Have you ever noticed that the word business is close to busy-ness? If you’re not careful, your business could turn into busy-ness and busy doesn’t pay the bills. I’ve worked in a lot of different businesses, including mine, and the one thing I always notice is employees get lulled into a sense of security when they are busy. It makes them feel needed, important, and often stressed. It’s counterproductive.

Results Not Activity

Culture can dictate busy-ness. I worked at a manufacturing company that was built by the owner from his garage into an extremely successful business. He achieved through hustle, selling during the day, producing product at night. As his business grew, that hustle was replicated by production staff. The more they hustled the more they produced. That hustle/produce mentality spilled over into the office culture but not in a productive way. Everyone was busy but nothing was ever getting accomplished. I observed this when I first got there and sat my team down and said write this down on a post-it, “Results Not Activity”. I then asked them to think about what we were trying to do – which was to generate leads for the sales team. Every time they went to do something I asked them to think is this going to generate results or is it just activity?

It takes time to shift

They didn’t like it at first but I kept repeating the mantra, results not activity. Gradually, they started identifying what was busy work and then we stopped doing it. If it wasn’t something that was going to generate a sales lead or move a deal to close, we stopped doing it. We cut out so much time by stopping activity, we actually started generating results and they didn’t feel overwhelmed with their to do list. The sales team took notice. My team started getting praise which made them more engaged and in turn more productive. We still had hustle, which the business was founded on, but now our hustle produced results.

Busy doesn’t pay the bills. There is a comfort in being busy, but let me repeat, it doesn’t pay the bills.

Stop doing everything

As an entrepreneur, you’re likely busy doing a little bit of everything. Stop. Only do the things that will move you towards your goal. Everything else is a distraction. It’s easy to get swept up in the activity when you should be focused on results. It’s hard to protect your time, energy and focus. It takes discipline and it takes a plan.

Are you stuck in the busy-ness of business?

  • Can you clearly articulate your strategic goal?
  • If you can, good you know where to focus your energy.
  • If not, let me help you create your strategic goals.
  • Is your to-do list moving you closer to achieving your strategic goal?
  • If it is, good. You can stop reading and get onto something more productive.
  • If it’s not, it’s time to eliminate the busy.

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