If you’re busy all the time, you may think you’re much more productive than you really are. But how do you know? First, it’s important to understand what “productive” really means. According to Dictionary.com, being productive means that you are, “producing or able to produce large amounts of goods, crops, or other commodities.” It also means, “achieving or producing a significant amount or result.”

When you look at the definition, it becomes clear that being productive means you must produce something. Sometimes being productive might mean doing tasks that lead up to the end goal or product. However, being productive never means just being busy. You might be busy doing the tasks that lead to the result but depending on how you have your work set up, this doesn’t have to mean you’ll be busy all the time or work 24/7 just to show how productive you are. Instead, you’re going to do things that lead to a result.

* Stop Multitasking – No one can multitask. Some jobs require a lot of “multitasking” but the truth is, people are bad at it. Instead, try to focus everything you have on the task at hand. It can help to give time limits and do every task on a schedule within a system, using a process that you set up and tweak to perfection as you grow your business.

* Turn Off Distractions – If you really want to be good at something, it’s imperative that you turn off distractions such as social media notifications, the television, and even the phone ringer when you truly need to focus.

* Set Yourself Up for Success – It’s imperative that you know who you are and work within the confines of your true personality and skills. For example, if you know that you need to drink 32 ounces of water before 11 am to be mentally alert, find a way to ensure that you do it.

Whatever it is that you need, whether it’s a specific office chair, coffee or something else, ensure you don’t hold yourself back without it.

* Fill Out Your Calendar for Work and Personal Time – One way to bring some balance to your life is to schedule it. Fill your calendar out with your family plans first. Add your work around that, then add in social plans too. It helps a lot of people to be more productive when they add in everything they do, including lunch.

* Set Up Systems and Processes – To be more productive, systems and processes will help. If every time you onboard a new client they go through the same steps, it’ll become more of a habit to you and feel extremely professional to the customer. Also, set up a process for everything you do regularly, including checking your email. For example, instead of checking email anytime you want, set up a process that you’ll check it for 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes after lunch, and 10 minutes an hour before you leave the office. Let it go the rest of the time.

* Don’t Say Yes Right Away – When someone asks something of you, don’t automatically say yes. Tell them you will think about it, then go look at your calendar. Determine how much time and effort doing what they ask will take before you say yes or no. When you do say no, don’t feel as if you must give a reason. “I can’t do that right now, but please ask me again” is a nice way to respond – assuming you do want them to ask again.

* Learn to Outsource and Delegate Better – Everyone has the same 24-hour days, but you can extend that time if you outsource and delegate. This can happen with your business, at work, and at home. For example, in your business, you can hire someone to handle your website, social media marketing, writing and a whole host of other things. At work, you may be able to delegate to someone else, and at home, you can outsource housework to someone else.

* Set Up Performance Metrics – One way to know if you’re performing how you want to perform and being as productive as you think you are is to set up performance metrics that you can look at to see the data and know what is working and what is not working. Perhaps if you’re a writer, you have a word count for the day. If you’re creating a new offer, perhaps today your goal was to get through making all the graphics for your new course. Whatever it is, choose the measure and then check up on it.

Being productive means that you get the important things done that make up an offer, a product, or a result. Just being busy doesn’t make you productive. If you want to be more productive, learn to delegate better, schedule better, and work with productivity goals in mind.