Many employees and owners too, think they are doing their job if they are busy. Success comes from knowing the difference between being busy and being productive. Every employee needs to consider, are the activities I am doing today contributing to the successful performance of the job I was hired for ?
For example the business development person needs to ask themselves am I busy or am I productive ? While making cold calls is a step in the sales process, it typically is just a beginning. Did I achieve the goal of getting to bid work on a job or for that client I was calling on ? The objective of my job is to create opportunities for my company to get more work, so if the answer is yes I created that opportunity for my company I was productive. If the answer is no, but I think I tried; I made the call; and was unable to get ahold of the right person, this is just an activity and I was not productive.
Regular discussions of the difference between activity and productivity can help team members learn and focus on this important difference. I myself have been guilty of being active versus productive and often I have to ask myself this question. Do not assume everyone gets it, my experience has shown me they often do not.