Being busy vs. being productive vs. getting things done for a reason you like

busy vs productive

September 19, 2022

By Elaine Goldhammer MD

Elaine Goldhammer is a medical doctor who has practiced western medicine for 24 years. In  2018, she created Inner Freedom Therapy to help clients in a deeper and more meaningful way.  She is now the leading Hypnotherapist and Life Coach in West Chester, PA. 

American culture is addicted to productivity.  It is so interesting that we never questioned it until the pandemic.  But, unfortunately, for most of us,  it has become confusing.  Instead of making significant changes in our lives that have purpose or meaning, we sank into the mush of distraction.  

Between the TV streaming content available, the iPhone at our fingertips, video games, and social media of our choice, it is impressive that any of us get out of bed at all in the morning. 

But, we are also confused because if work does not provide meaning or purpose, what will fulfil that human need to create a legacy, to contribute, to make it all mean something? 


If you are feeling lost and either adrift or busy without an end goal, here are a few tips to help.


First, forgive yourself for where you are now. 

There are lots of companies out there that sell you services and items that want your attention and want to distract you. 

Marketers are good at what they do, so you are distracted. 

Once you see that companies like the news media, social media, and streaming services are in the business of getting your attention, you can decide if you want to give it to them or not. 

Your attention is a commodity that is yours to keep and determine who and where you will distribute. 


Second, decide what is important to you. 

If you are so busy in life, doing all the things, then you will never stop to redirect your attention. 

Stop for an hour, sit down, and write down what is important to you. 

Trust me.  You can not do this in your head. 

You have to write it down and remind yourself regularly. 

It is like setting a GPS daily for your life; you need to know the destination before diving into all activities. 

Otherwise, time slips away. 

I love the quote by Michael Hyatt “Most people spend more time planning a one-week vacation than they spend planning their life.”  

What if you planned your life like you planned a vacation? 

What do you want to see?  What do you want to have accomplished?  And what is the plan to get there? 

Set specific goals, such as how much money you want to make. 

Do you want to make deeper connections with the people in your life?  

Is there someone that you want to spend more time? 

How do you want to care for your health and well-being?   

The more specific you can get about these goals, the easier it will be to create a plan to achieve them.  


Third, write out what you will DO, on your calendar, to get there. 

Like a vacation, when you plan a hike or a meal, make a reservation, or set a date and time.  


Fourth, and most importantly, make your “to do’s” super easy and high impact. 

For instance, if your goal is to spend more time with your family, don’t plan a massive week-long vacation with them. 

Instead, think of small ways that you can connect with them each day. 

Maybe it is something as simple as no cell phones or screens for 10 minutes daily during a meal or perhaps you can walk the dog together. 

If you want to read more, consider charging your cell phone in the living room at night instead of next to your bed. 

Did you realize that if you read for 1 hour per day, that adds up to a book a week? 

Or, the ultimate new year’s resolution,  If you’re going to lose weight, instead of planning on eating only cave dweller raw foods, think about when you are snacking and see if you can eliminate one snack per day.  


Set yourself up for success, instead of overdoing and failing on the first day.  It takes time to build integrity with yourself.  


Finally, celebrate your accomplishments. 

This is very important.  Look back at the past week, month or year, see how much you already accomplished. 

You have already done enough. 

The rest is just for fun and to see how much further you can go.  🙂 

How can Inner Freedom Therapy help?

If you would like to discuss this click to book a free consultation. 

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