A busy 2017 is not the same as a productive 2017

It’s the New Year! Horrah! You’re full of resolutions, firm decisions and excitement for a fresh and productive 2017.

But now you’re back at work, your emails are off the chart, you remember the challenges you felt last year with your start-up, you get back to the day to day and all those stresses and worries and jobs that need doing come back in to play.

Why do you think it is that we all feel so inspired at the start of a new year? I have a feeling that the New Year isn’t so much the cause. I would wager it’s the time off, the headspace. The break from the routine. The sitting in my pyjamas all day whilst I don’t think about my waistline because it’s Christmas and I don’t worry about work because everyone’s off and I put everything on hold for this little vacuum of calm……

And this is precisely what helps you to focus beyond your daily grind and dwell on larger, future goals. It’s something in fact that you should try to work into your year – little oasis spots of calm where everything is dropped for a few days.

We’re all so busy. Work emails, friends we have to get back to, social media we have to keep updated, errands we have to run, gyms classes we need to attend. Sometimes you can go through a whole weeks non-stop and realise you’ve not got any closer to your goals. Weeks turn into months and then the month turns into a year and you make it your new 2018 resolution to do what you mean to do in 2017.

Don’t let this be you. You can get far more from life than just learning how to tread water to keep yourself afloat.

This is why being busy is the 2017 enemy and being productive is your new best friend. Busy makes you tired and stressed, productive makes you focused and gets you where you want to be. Busy makes you drop the ball, go through life on autopilot and have little joy in what you’re doing. Productive makes you systems to get you where you want to be, it gives you satisfaction and excitement as you take steps towards your desired destination.

To be productive in 2017 rather than busy you need to ask yourself three questions:

  • Where do I want to be by the end of the year?

  • Who do I want to be by the end of the year?

  • What steps will take me there?

Sometimes the the steps you need to take may feel superfluous to the present moment but you must still do them. For example :

Practicing your yoga stretches whilst you should be tidying up your flat might not feel like what you SHOULD be doing but a life well lived is a life that can tell the difference between real and fake SHOULDs.

IF you are to get to your ideal flexibility (if this is your goal) then this is what you need to do now to achieve it in the future.

Getting up early in the morning to dedicate an hour to honing your writing skills when you have no one to write for in order to improve and get a column in a paper may seem a bit pointless at the time but you know what -it will get you your column.

Going to a meeting you know won’t lead to your first sale still allows you practice for the future meeting that will be your big break. Learning a skill and throwing away every attempt still leads you closer to a finished piece.

Even if you have to spend a week on the phone trying to get all your monthly bill commitments down in order to afford that course, each phone call is valid time spent.

It may feel as though you are taking a few twists and turns and sometimes running far in another direction but the course of progress never did run smooth and you will get there, so long as you keep moving forward.

So don’t fill all your time this year with ‘busy’ – be productive, take time away from the daily upkeep of life to do the things that will take you closer to the life you want to lead in 2017. That is what you SHOULD be doing.

Above all, enjoy the journey and remember how far ahead you already are.

You’ll have an amazing year.




  1. Francesca
    February 25, 2017 / 12:03 am

    I’ve just discovered your website and post. What a treasure chest, and wonderful name! Thank you for your work. Inspiring and motivating.

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