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It’s easy to equate activity with accomplishment.

We may think because we are busy, we are getting things done.

That’s not the case, however. Being busy is not the same as accomplishment. We can spend 12 hours a day being “busy” but not actually get anything done worthwhile.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if the tasks you are doing are worthwhile:

Am I doing my 20%?

According to Pareto’s rule, 20% of our activity equals 80% of our results. Unfortunately, we often stay in the 80%. Are you focusing your time on the 20% or the 80%?

Am I doing what I was hired to do?

Is the work you are doing at your job what you were really hired for, or something else? If you don’t know what you were hired to accomplish, you need to ask.

Is there purpose in what I’m doing?

Are you just doing busy work, or does your task align with your goals? Everything you do should have a purpose. If it does not push you toward your goals, you are wasting your time.

Am I focusing on my strengths?

Each of us has different gifts and talents. What is your “thing”? What are you good at? Are you spending a lot of time doing tasks that someone else could do a lot better and quicker because that is one of their strengths (and not yours)?

Don’t just be “busy”

Busyness without purpose is wasteful. Make sure the tasks you do actually help push you toward your personal or business goals. Granted, sometimes we do have to do some of that 80% outside our 20%, but that shouldn’t fill up 80% of our time.

If you are spending way too much time at work on tasks that are not important, not what you were hired for, or not your strengths, find ways to cut them out or pass them on to someone else. Talk with your boss if you needed to figure out how to make that happen.

If you ask and follow these questions for your daily tasks, you will start seeing yourself being more productive and getting to your goals much faster.

What tasks are you doing that you need to pass on or cut out?

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