Are You a Busy Bee? – Turning
Busy Time into Productive
© Cheryl C. Malandrinos
- All Rights Reserved.
You know the busy
bee. No matter
what day you ask, she’s busy. If you ask how she’s
doing, she’ll provide you a laundry list of things left
undone that she’s working on.
Problem is, next week
her laundry list will probably be the same…or
Why? Because she’s busy, not
Just because we have a
lot to accomplish, doesn’t mean we are approaching our to-do
list in a productive manner. In order to be productive,
you have to make progress. Busy bees
spin their wheels, digging deeply into the same ruts until
they feel so overwhelmed they procrastinate.
How can you stop the
busy bee syndrome? Here are some great ways
to get you started.
goals is the first step toward turning busy time into
productive time. S.M.A.R.T. goals are ones
specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and
more information on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals read this
The reason goal
setting is so important to productivity is that we need to
focus on what we need to accomplish. Without a plan, you’re
like a driver trying to maneuver a car without a steering
wheel; you have no control over where the car is going and
sooner or later you’re going to crash.
Just like you wouldn’t
put slacks on before your underwear, you shouldn’t try to
attack your goals without prioritizing them
Review your goals and
consider which ones you need to work on
goals can be prioritized by deadline, but sometimes you
have to consider if this is a new or repeat client and
what the future impact might be on your career when
setting your priorities.
You’ll find more
information about setting priorities here.
Write a To-do
Now you’re really
getting somewhere. You’ve set your goals and
prioritized them. Now you need to break them
down into monthly or weekly to-do lists.
I prefer weekly
because even a monthly to-do list gives me too much to think
about and my mind tends to wander.
The importance of a
to-do list cannot be stressed enough. The first thing a to-do
list does is give you a way to focus on smaller tasks so
that the larger goal doesn’t seem so
to-do list also allows you to feel a sense of
accomplishment when you check off a completed item—which
is a huge source of motivation.
After using to-do
lists for several weeks or months, you’ll also be able to
better gauge how much you can truly accomplish during a
specific time period. While it might vary
depending upon the size and complexity of the projects you
are working on, it will still give you a good overall
picture of whether your writing schedule is
Create a Writing
Schedule That Works for You
Speaking of writing
schedules, you need to create one that works best for
you. If you’re
more productive in the morning, then that’s when you should
I’ve come to realize that my most productive hours are after
9PM; so I get the girls down to bed and begin working in
For those who can’t
write during their ideal time frame because of other
commitments, use lunch hours and waiting time in doctors’
offices to increase productivity.
like email, the telephone, and the Internet to steal your
writing time will leave you feeling overwhelmed when faced
with a deadline. Letting family and friends
invade the time you’ve put aside for writing is also going
to keep you busier than normal. And on the reverse side,
taking time dedicated to family and using it to catch up on
writing projects can leave your family feeling resentful of
Take out a pen and pad
and track your time for the next five days. This will help identify
exactly how much time is being spent on each task and where
time is wasted.
Identifying what distractions and interruptions keep you
from obtaining your goals, will help you eliminate
In addition, keep a
careful eye on how much time is spent working on projects
where you just couldn’t say, “No”. Volunteering in your
community and taking on special assignments at work can
often make you feel good; but if you commit to more than you
can realistically handle, you’ll soon feel the pressure and
begin to procrastinate.
goals and prioritizing them, maintaining to-do lists,
creating a writing schedule that works best for you, and
tracking your time, will help you be productive rather than
Author: Cheryl C.
Malandrinos is a freelancer who specializes in helping
writers increase productivity through time management and
organization. She has also written articles on
everyday life in the 1800’s, gardening, parenting, and
women’s health issues. Cheryl is also a virtual book tour
coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion. You can find
out more about Cheryl by visiting her website