Are you busy or effective?

Today I’m off to California to watch my little bro get hitched, so Halley is here to help get your work day in line!

Are you busy or effective? Find out with this free worksheet!

Facebook. Twitter. Facebook group. LinkedIn. Email. Twitter. Facebook. The day feels chock full of endless to-do’s.

I often delude myself into thinking I’m avalanche-busy, but when I use this nifty worksheet I realize I’m wasting time, MOUNTAINS of time. Time I could be using to pester my cat or drinking gin at 1pm or going outside to look at clouds. IMPORTANT STUFF.

Once you match up your intentions with your actual actions your productivity SKYROCKETS. It makes NASA jealous.

So here’s the experiment – how would your work day change if you wrote down your plans vs your actions?

All it takes is this printout I made for you and a pen/pencil (old school!) or copy/paste -whatever floats your metaphorical fishing boat (because I picture you as a Maine lobster fisherman).

Here’s how this works:

Download the PDF, print it, and fill out what you ‘need’ to get done today and tomorrow.

Then fill out EVERY SINGLE thing you’re doing/thinking


Need to do today:

Answer emails

Write ebook

Actually did:

Opened up Gmail

Thought about watching Seinfeld reruns

Answered one email

Watched all of Season 8 Seinfeld

Checked Facebook every 5 minutes

Looked at ebook document

Kept looking at ebook document

Set laptop on fire

And so on. It’s important to note when you wanna do something else without guilt. It helps just to notice.

Need accountability? Tweet me your blow-by-blow day tomorrow. I’ll keep you honest.

DOUBLE CHALLENGE – plan to only work 4 hours a day. Science let me in on a secret – we’re only capable of real tough cranium work for 4 hours tops.

Experiment for a week with this worksheet and focusing on only working 4 hours tops.

I bet your alcoholic cat will thank you.


Halley Gray is a marketing strategist at Evolve & Succeed. She works with online superstars like Michelle Ward, Tiffany Han, Lola Falk, and others to get them sold out, booked out, and booming in business. Wanna take over the (digital) world? Join her free FB group – Evolve’s Internet Domination Club!


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  1. says

    I love the 4 hours a day thought! I think it’s so true! I think the hardest part is taking away the guilt of not working a “full day” of 8 hours (which is where I feel like a lot of the checking facebook and watching seinfeld comes in). Am going to try to use this list next week!

    • says

      I totally agree. I spent the first few months in self-employment just sitting at a desk for 8 hours because that was what I was used to. It was not productive though.

      I am 100% serious about you tweeting me if you need help. :) I’d love to know if this works for you or not, either way.

  2. says

    I definitely need to do this. I am a scheduler and break my day up in sections based on naptme, but I bet there is something I can cut out or fix.

  3. says

    I love the worksheet!! This is so helpful because I think it is really important to see in black and white what we all do with our time when we work from home.

  4. says

    Ugh, I am definitely more “busy” than “effective”. I love the 4 hours challenge. Since I work a full-time 9 hour day job, I don’t think it would work out, but maybe I’ll give it a try on a weekend that I’m trying to be extra productive!

  5. says

    I really needed this right now! I KNOW that I have been super “busy” yet totally ineffective! Thank you, I can’t wait to download the worksheet in the am.

  6. says

    On Tuesday, even with HUGE IMPORTANT WEDNESDAY DEADLINES and a BIG OL’ MEETING Wednesday morning, I went skiing for 3 hours and was back at my desk by 1pm. I cranked out more between 1-6pm than I had in the ENTIRE PREVIOUS WEEK. I think sometimes I just need a little outside morning time before getting super creative (though I need a To Do list before any of that happens so TO DO List –> outside –> work –> bath –> roll around in piles of money)


    • sarah says

      Hell yea! You get a giant high five for being able to work hard and take time away for yourself. Planning a morning off is a great incentive to stay focused an get shit done!

  7. says

    You are so right let me tell you I have tons of things that I need to do yet seem to do more things that I want to do. I try to keep a to do list and that does really help me out.

  8. says

    YES! I definitely agree and this was such a good post. It can be applied to people working in the office, too. Does staying later REALLY make you look better or are you just being inefficient with your time?

  9. says

    Haha I love what you “actually did”. I use a to do list on my phone called and it helps me remember to actually get the crap done and it cheers for me when I finish one and scratch it out. It’s pretty rewarding LOL

  10. says

    I used this tonight. It is amazing, holding me accountable for all my actions. I waste a lot of time and it shows in the actually doing column! Here’s to being effective!