Planning, Reflections

Busy ≠ Productive

It’s been a busy few weeks. Extremely busy. 

It’s funny to think about being overly scheduled or busy during a time when we’re all still sheltering in place, but if anyone can do it, it’s me. 

However, despite working on a lot of things, I haven’t necessarily felt productive.

Now, I am being a little unfair to myself. I’ve accomplished a lot — kept up with my weekly YouTube videos and blog posts, applied and interviewed for jobs, worked on a small interior design project, refreshed my LinkedIn and resume, started rehearsals for a new play. All while helping take care of a teething 6-month-old.

But, although I’ve completed a lot of tasks or projects, I’m not feeling like I’ve made progress … or at least, not the type of progress I was expecting to make.

For example, while I have successfully stuck to my schedule of releasing a new YouTube video every Monday, I haven’t made the progress I hoped I would towards making the video creation process more efficient and quicker each week. In fact, this week’s video was probably one of the longest and most arduous processes I’ve dealt with.

I guess it feels like I’ve been running in circles rather than a straight line. Productive in that I’ve been running. But unproductive in that I didn’t get myself anywhere but where I started.

This defeated feeling also stems from the fact that I haven’t worked towards any of my major goals lately. 

A few weeks ago, my friend and I decided that we would be each other’s accountability buddies while creating and working toward some major goals. We started by separately brainstorming our individual goals and then we talked over our list together, identifying our top priority goals and how we would measure success.

My top goals:

  • Get my home clean and organized
  • Lose weight and get in shape
  • Generate income from acting
  • Generate income from podcasting

The next step was to separately work on identifying the milestones and tasks that would get us to our respective goals. Then we would meet again to discuss our plan and create some initial timelines.

But … I still haven’t gotten around to creating my list of tasks. Nor have I worked on any of those goals. Instead I’ve filled my time with projects that, for the most part, do not service any one of those goals.

Ah ha! Now it’s clear. I have a prioritization problem.

So, I’m going to take some time to reset, reflect and reorganize. This week, I want to:

  • Confirm my top priority goals. Is there a reason I didn’t work on any projects that were related to my top goals? Are they really the paths I want to focus on?
  • Scale back on my current commitments. Maybe I’ll focus on shorter YouTube videos and/or blog posts so that I can keep up with the frequency but reduce the time needed to complete them.
  • Question every new project I take on. Do I really have time for this? Is it a time-sensitive opportunity? Does it help get me toward one of my top-priority goals?
  • Identify what progress looks like. What exactly do I want to accomplish and by when?
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