Are You Busy, or Are You Making Progress?

It seems like there’s never enough time in the day to get stuff done. We all get busy. But the thing is if you’re constantly filling your day with tasks, are you busy, or are you making progress on your goals?

Here’s how to tell the difference.

What busy looks like

Busy looks like this: checking email and social media sites, running around doing errands, and doing typical household tasks.

Basically, busy means spending your time doing the things that will never really be done for good.

They’ll be there again the next day. The truth is, nothing too terrible is likely to happen if you skip them now and then — or even if you skip them for a week or two. Busy is maintaining, and sometimes it’s wasting time. Some level of busy is necessary, but busy is so not the goal.

What progress looks like

Making real progress, on the other hand, means moving forward. It means crossing a task off your list for good, or crossing specific repeatable tasks off at regular intervals in service of a longer-term strategy. (Blogging could fall under that last bit, IF you earn a good amount of money from your blog or if it directly helps improve your business or your life in some way.)

When you make progress, you’re in a better place than you were before, and you can build on that progress incrementally.

Where are you at with your goals?

So what about you? Leaving aside work time for the moment, how much of your time would you say you spend being busy vs. making progress?

If you’re on the busy side, consider cutting out some things to make room for progress to make a difference in your life instead.


  • I admit there are times when I just run around being busy, but not really accomplishing anything. One of my 2015 goals is to have every action have a purpose towards accomplishing something….no wasted time!

  • Joel Arches

    What a comparison! Thanks for sharing. Sometimes, we tend to be busy on things that we keep on running in circles. Thanks for reminding me that I should be moving forward instead.