Recognize Fake Productivity from Real Productivity

by tkogut on November 11, 2016

Recognize Fake Productivity from Real Productivity

How much of your day is spent on fake productivity vs. REAL productivity? Do you even know what is considered fake and what is considered real productivity?

A quick way to figure it out is to ask yourself before doing a task, “will this move my business forward? Will the outcome of this task bring in more income? Does it move my business forward and closer to my goals?

In order to know whether the work you are doing is productive or not, is to have a clear vision for your business. What is your ultimate goal? What are the smaller goals that will help you achieve your ultimate goal? By having a clear vision, you’ll be able to stay focused on tasks that move your business towards those goals.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We can’t create more time and we can’t get lost time back. Successful people spend their time wisely.

TAKE THIS QUIZ  to test your skills at recognizing fake vs real productivity.

 Are the following tasks fake or real when it comes to productivity (these tasks are geared towards artists but some will benefit other businesses as well):

  1. You take an e-courses or webinar but don’t implement what you’ve learned.
  2. You upload new products to your Etsy shop.
  3. You check your phone whenever you hear a notification.
  4. You multi-task in order to get more accomplished.
  5. Every hour or so you check your Facebook & other social media platforms to post and see what your colleagues or competitors are doing.
  6. You go through the day taking care of things that need done as they come up.
  7. You write a helpful blog post using some affiliate links.
  8. You create a painting.
  9. You start your day with a task list with each task prioritized.
  10. Before work, you run some errands for your business and later that day you take packages to the post office.
  11. You meet a friend for lunch and decide while you’re out you’ll pick up some groceries so you can make dinner that night.
  12. You spend an hour searching YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for people to follow that can help you with your business.
  13. You create and send a newsletter.


  1. FAKE. If you’re going to take the time to take an e-course or webinar, also take the time to implement what you’ve learned to improve your business.
  2. REAL. Uploading products can increase sales. After uploading, take time to “pin” them to Pinterest and announce on Facebook.
  3. FAKE. You lose a ton of productivity by stopping and starting a task. In order to stay focused, turn off your notifications or turn off the volume of your phone during work hours.
  4. FAKE. Don’t go from one unfinished task to another. Work on one task at a time, finish it and move to the next.
  5. FAKE. Again, you’ll lose your focus by bouncing all over the place. Have set times that you check your social media platforms. Schedule your FB posts first thing in the morning. It’s important to stay connected and answer questions or post comments so you engage your audience but it doesn’t have to be every hour. Every 3 hours is enough…..or if you are working on a task that requires more than three hours, wait until you finish the task. Stay focused!
  6. FAKE. Run your business, don’t let it run you. Your day can easily get away from you if you go from one “fire” to another.
  7. REAL. Writing great content that helps your followers is beneficial now and will continue to be beneficial for years to come. Also by using affiliate links within your content, you can earn income as long as the blog post exists.
  8. REAL. For an artist, of course. This is not only the core of an artist’s business but keeps us sane!!
  9. REAL. I am a BIG task-list person. I know before I get to my studio what I will be working on for the day and I have it listed in order or priority.
  10. FAKE. Wait and run your errands once you have your packages ready so you only make one trip.
  11. FAKE. One of the great things about being self-employed is having the freedom to take a long lunch with a friend once in a while (to be honest, I prefer to meet a friend for dinner rather than break up my day). That lunch can turn into an entire afternoon off if you’re not careful. A real time saver is to plan your meals on Sunday. Make sure you have all the groceries for the meals during the coming week so you’re not making 2 or 3 trips to the grocery store each week.
  12. FAKE/REAL. If you do it during working hours it’s fake. If you do it while making dinner or instead of watching the boob tube then it’s real. Here’s why. If you’re like me, you have shiny object syndrome….I start out searching the internet for topics or information that will help my business then a half hour later I have 10 tabs open and I’m way off track. This seems to happen often so I refrain from doing it during working hours. There’s better times of the day to get lost in the world wide web.
  13. REAL. Newsletters are great!! The #1 goal for any business is to build an email list so you can connect with people and make sales. You OWN your list of contacts but you don’t own Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.

Make the most of every day and build a highly productive business by do the following:

  • Meal plan for the week & get the groceries for those meals on Saturday or Sunday.
  • Keep regular work hours. Clock in and clock out.
  • Start each day with your prioritized task list already written out.
  • If you need to leave the studio, make sure you only have to make one trip. (tip: I have the USPS pick up packages on my porch so I don’t even have to leave. You can schedule a pick up online)
  • Have dinner with friends/family instead of meeting for lunch.
  • Don’t try to multi-task. Focus on one task until it’s completed. Then start the next.
  • Turn off the volume on your phone so you are tempted to check every time it makes a sound.
  • Schedule FB posts in the morning and just check in on your social media platforms every few hours.
  • Out of your list of tasks make sure there are at least a couple that will move your business forward, for instance, sending new art to licensees, adding product to your Etsy shop, creating art, etc. Obviously, there are tasks that need to be done that don’t necessarily move your business forward. Just don’t spend the entire day doing those kinds of tasks, for example, filing paperwork, posting on FB, uploading art to database, registering copyrights, etc.
  • Do online research, scroll Facebook & watch YouTube videos after studio hours.

The ideas and tips for this article and video are based on a full-time entrepreneur or artist.  I mention that because we’re all at different places in our careers. Maybe you are working full-time at a job and can only work a few hours a day on your business or maybe you’re a SAHM (stay at home mom) with little ones running around and you can only work a few hours a day. These tips are even more important if either of those cases apply to you.

I hope this was helpful to you. Leave me a comment if you have anything you want to add that would be helpful.





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