Difference Between Busy and Taking Action

bees-in-poppies-1There is a difference between being busy and taking action. A plan guides your actions, leading you to the completion of projects rather than the spiral of doing, doing, doing. The past few weeks we have been talking about spinning plates and the chaos and overwhelm created when you don’t have a focus. A plan, focus, and action are the keys to removing your spinning plates.


Many busy people would say that they are taking action all day long. When you look at what they are really doing, you will see that they are reacting to one urgent thing after another rather than taking focused, directed action. They also are exhausted and frustrated. Is that you? Busy all day long, but never focused?

Here is the third set of tips in this series about spinning plates.

  • Be specific about what you really want to accomplish, not what you think you should accomplish. What is the end result you are looking for? Sometimes this is more difficult than it appears.
  • Create a plan. What steps will lead you to your desired outcome? You don’t have to do all of them at once. It is actually beneficial to recognize and acknowledge the small steps along the way.
  • As you plan each day ask yourself this question. “Is this action moving me in the direction of achieving my desired result?” If the answer is no, then it isn’t something for you to focus on today.

A common reason that people feel overwhelmed, confused, and stuck is that they have the mindset that they haven’t been productive unless they have accomplished the entire project. When you break down a project into it’s component parts and see them as individual successes along the way to completion, you will be taking purposed action. Let yourself enjoy small steps as they lead you to the completed outcome.

Notice when you are busy and overwhelmed. Do you have a plan to follow? Are you letting distractions create the illusion that you are being productive? What one action can you take today that leads you in the direction of your goals?

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