One thing I've noticed is that people LOVE to talk about how busy they are. They are so busy with their business, their job, volunteer commitments, etc., they can't possibly do one more thing or their head will explode. However, if you look at what they really do with their time, their complaints of "too busy" are really just their big ego talking.
How do you recognize such people? They're the ones sending emails to their boss between 10pm and 6am. Or maybe they are the boss, sending emails to employees during overnight hours. They're the ones staying at work until 8pm because they spent an hour and a half chatting with co-workers during the day or calling useless meetings. They're the ones constantly interrupting others during the day, having no respect or boundaries for other people's time. They're the ones that show up, unannounced, in someone's office just to "pick their brain." They might also complain a lot about how busy they are.
These people don't suffer from being too busy and a lack of time. They suffer from a lack, yes, but a lack of organization, lack of respect for the time of others, and a lack of awareness that the world does not revolve around them. If they actually planned out their day and got organized, they'd find themselves with a lot more time on their hands.
If you struggle with being productive and find yourself frittering your day away, maybe it's time to take a look at what you really do in the course of a day. How many minutes did you spend socializing with co-workers? How much time did you spend on Facebook? How much time did you spend checking the news, shopping online, or doing fantasy sports? If you're doing any of these during "work" hours, it's highly likely you could be more productive and claiming to be "too busy" is probably a stretch. If you'd rather be a slacker or just need a few breaks during the day, nothing wrong with that, just don't be that person sending emails at 8pm to the folks that got their work done during the day.
Super productive people are able to block: block their time and block out distractions until they get a task done. That means not checking email for an hour, staying off social media and not taking calls. All of those interruptions will derail actually getting anything done. Unless it's an actual emergency, those things can wait. It's hard for your ego to accept, but the world will go on without you for a bit while you finish a few tasks.
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way.