Is Your Busy Work Really Work? I have really been enjoying Brendon Burchard’s video series (you can catch them here or subscribe to his The Charged Life free podcast here). These are short snippets that are jam packed with ideas to make you think, reflect and ponder.

In one of Brendon’s latest videos he points out that maybe your busy work, isn’t your life’s work. That really caught me. I know I shared recently that I had discovered how Buried in Busy Workmuch busy work I allowed to fill up my hours. I only discovered this when I decided to get a personal life and stop hiding behind my work. Busy work takes up time. We all have the same 24 hours in the day. I found I transitioned to spending time on my personal life at the ‘cost’ of the busy work. And you know what? It was actually very freeing. My productivity did not go down. My audience did not scamper away with me not being connected online 10 hours a day. My ideas kept coming. My inspiration increased.

Now I am not saying this wasn’t all an adjustment. It was. I feared spending too much time as down time, spending it with my loved ones. My fear was for naught. I have been able to develop a wonderful relationship, and still work on my business. It all fits… in those same 24 hours.

I also believe it is always an adjustment. Sometimes my personal life needs me more and sometimes my business needs me more. This will be an ongoing dynamic.

I encourage you to take a moment and really reflect. Is your busy work really your life’s work? Is your time in the Facebook rabbit hole your life’s work? Is your constant blog reading your life’s work? Is your constant planning your life’s work? Is arranging your email your life’s work? Is your development of system after system to ‘help’ with workload your life’s work?

It is so easy to get caught up in the cyclone of work that we begin to believe that this whirlwind is the actual work. And frankly, it’s not.

My real work is speaking to people. My life’s work is training folks to help make their everyday life better. My life’s work is reaching out to encourage people to live aligned to their purpose. My life’s work is helping people discover that purpose.

This is the meat and potatoes of my life’s work. The rest is just the appetizer that never fully satisfies the palate.

Now I am not saying that social media isn’t important, or that email isn’t important, or that reading blogs to expand knowledge is not important. It definitely is. But it is actually a small part. The rest of the time we spend on it tends to be the fluff and distraction that devours the hours in our day.

I still catch myself in busy work from time to time. But now I have a different perspective. The more busy work I do, the less time I have for my life’s work. And that robs not only me, but the folks I can help. And that happening is definitely NOT my life’s work!


Just include this complete statement with the content: A. Lynn Jesus, CEO and Purpose Expert with Thriveology, is dedicated to helping people discover their purpose and live life on their terms.

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23 Responses to Is Your Busy Work Really Work?

  1. Don Purdum says:

    Great article! Busy being busy is just busy work, not productive work. I find that people that are busy have talked themselves into believing they are doing something meaningful. They are not… they are typically exhausting themselves unnecessarily and stressing themselves and everyone around them out. Not a good recipe for long-term success!

    • Thanks Don! I agree that it is a bad recipe! Learning to get off the stress wheel is so important. Chances are you are off purpose if you are always stressed with your work. There will be stressful times, but it should not be the norm!

  2. I like the contrast of busy work v. life’s work. It’s amazing how easily the former distracts us from the latter. Busy work can also pinch our personal relationships – if we mix up our priorities. Great post!

    • Thanks Gina! Great point about the pinch on personal relationships. I think my busy work was really robbing me of time to have those deep meaningful personal relationships. And it is about priorities – get those right and things settle and the productive work becomes clearer it seems.

  3. Daveda says:

    I agree! Balance is really the key. I discovered when I get more focused and set time limits for myself I am much more productive. I also have more balance! 🙂

  4. bestrealhealth says:

    Guilty:-( Yes, the fluff gets in the way of my being as productive as I should be. Thanks for reminding me of how time consuming busy work can be and how it cuts productivity. Great blog!

  5. rozbeads says:

    Two things I got from your article. I stopped saying I was busy when people called to chat. Taking the time to connect to a friend with a quick conversation is so important and I can return to the work 20 minutes later. Secondly, if I take time to enjoy myself in the day, I can give up tv and do my computer work in the evening. It works.

    • Great points Roz. Putting people first is (in my opinion) much healthier than hiding behind busy work! And good for you for taking time outs during the day. I agree that that is a healthier approach.

  6. Interesting concept. I think I use “busy work” to fill time that I’m not working on other business things (like designing and SEO’ing). But you’re right, all of a sudden an hour is gone and there’s no getting it back!

  7. Ashley says:

    Great article! It really made me think about my busy work vs. life work and putting both into perspective. Thanks!

  8. I do wonder that sometimes. I feel busy all the time, but nearly not as productive as I should be. Time to re-evaluate

  9. As an entrepreneur, I do most of the busy work myself. I can’t afford to outsource at this point and focus solely on writing and doing that well. I have to divvy up my day and divide my work to conquer and divide. I spend quite a bit of time networking, link building, and sharing my work. Why do I do this? I am the only one to do it and if I don’t market my work then no one will see it.

  10. kungphoo says:

    Great article.. people definitely waste too much time on social media and it can take up a lot of time…

    • Thanks! Social media can be an incredible time suck. I admit – I have been guilty of the Facebook or YouTube rabbit hole. Setting limits on your time and focusing on high priority tasks will often help curb the time warp.

  11. Nate says:

    I agree with you here. When you start to make your passion or work about others, it’s not really work. Serving and helping others is the way to go. You can also make some good money in the process as well!

    • I love the service mindset. Focusing on that is a great way to prioritize tasks. Jack Canfield has a saying at his company “If it’s not fun, don’t do it.” I like that idea. Love what you do – serve others and work becomes fun. There will be less temptation to avoid, procrastinate and back fill with busy work.

  12. hjcameron says:

    Great article and I love Brendon Burchard’s ideas. I have been doing too much busy work lately and realize it. I wrote about scheduling the big rock yesterday. About focusing on the big task. It can be a challenge but I’m working on it.

    I have many demands on in my personal life that take away from the business life so it is even more important to focus on the real work.

    Thanks for the prospective.

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