Though many of us recognize the fact that we need to increase our productivity and that it is a continuous process, there are some who proudly say that they hardly waste a minute of their time. Mostly, these are the ones who are always busy with something or the other and believe that by working constantly, they can finish the tasks on their to-do list. While that’s one way to get your work done, there is a huge difference between being busy and being productive.

Productivity involves more than just getting through your tasks for the day. Being productive is looking at the larger picture and working towards your goals every single day. If you are wondering how the two are different, here are 8 big differences between being busy and being productive.

1. Busy people want to look like they have a mission. Productive people have a mission for their lives.

For busy people, it’s all about the here and now. They are more concerned with how to get through their day. Productive people also get through their tasks but they prioritize the tasks that align with their long-term goals.

2. Busy people have many priorities. Productive people have few priorities.

The Pareto principle states that 80% of your desired results come from 20% of your activity. If you have 3 priorities, you have priorities. If you have 25 priorities, you have a mess.

3. Busy people say yes quickly. Productive people say yes slowly.

Being productive means you have to learn to say “no” because you don’t want to spread your time and energy doing things that don’t add value. Busy people on the other hand tend to say yes, often mistaking the ability to do more as being more productive.

4. Busy people focus on action. Productive people focus on clarity before action.

Busy people jump into action and hardly take the time to pause and reflect. They sometimes get stuck in a rut. Being productive demands that you think and find ways to things not only quicker, but better.

5. Busy people keep all doors open. Productive people close doors.

There comes a point in life where one must let go of most options and focus on a select few that really matter. Productive people would rather be a master of few than a jack of all.

6. Busy people talk about how busy they are. Productive people let their results do the talking.

This trait is a clearly demarcates the two. Busy people love to go on and on about how they need to do this and then finish that and later start something else. Productive people know exactly what they need to do and just do it.

7. Busy people talk about how little time they have. Productive people make time for what is important.

If you allow yourself to practice excuses, you will get better and better at excuses. Productive people don’t use time as an excuse. An action either supports their highest values and mission, or it does not.

8. Busy people multitask. Productive people focus.

Productive people know that multitasking is a myth and multiple studies have proved it does not work. Instead they focus on one thing at a time and work towards completing it.

Change happens by taking action and not by just talking about it. If you don’t like the way your life is going, you need to rethink your priorities and take action. You’re not going to lose any weight by just saying that your will go running. Busy people are mostly doing the tasks that come their way but hardly do anything to change the status quo. Productive people seek positive change, even if it’s taking tiny steps every day.