Words By Tara Wagner

Why You’re BUSY But Not PRODUCTIVE (5 Reasons + Solutions)

Taa sitting at with her feet on her desk as she laughs and sips tea with laptop on her lap

How often do you feel stupid busy, but not productive? You got all kinds of movement going on, but none of it’s forward.

When we get stuck in those spin cycles, there’s some really important, really difficult steps we can take to get ourselves out, so let’s talk about those right now. 

I’m gonna share six reasons why you’re so busy but not productive, as well as some solutions you can start putting into place to stop spinning those wheels, so let’s dive in with number one.

Watch here or read below.

Why You're BUSY But Not PRODUCTIVE (5 Reasons + Solutions) Share on X

The number one reason why we’re busy but not productive is because we don’t give ourselves enough time to get focused on our priorities and on our IPAs, our income-producing activities.

If we don’t have clarity on what we’re doing or what we should be doing, we’re gonna end up doing the wrong things and going in the wrong directions.

I get that it’s hard to make time for planning and prioritizing, but it’s also crucial, because crystal clear clarity and connection (try to say all that five times fast) to our why ensures crystal clear direction in our day.

All of that BS just falls off the radar when we’re focusing on the right things.

Stephen Covey teaches about this in what he calls the Four Quadrants of Time Management.

What we want to be working on is the important non-urgent stuff. That’s the stuff we want to planning first in our day, and as much as possible, we want to be de-prioritizing or ,maybe even outsourcing all these other quadrants, or as much as we can from the other quadrants so that we’re able to focus on the most productive things.

The important, non-urgent things are the more important things in our business and are the things that we need to be planning in our schedule every single week.

A diagram of the time quadants

The solution to a lack of clarity is to get clear.

Give yourself 15 minutes to sit down with those four quadrants and figure out what goes in that important non-urgent quadrant, and then time block those things into your calendar, even if you have to do it four weeks from now to start getting ahead of it. Just start time blocking it into your calender now so that you can start prioritizing the right things, the most productive things in your business.


Reason number two you are busy but not productive are what I like to call the hijackers of your time and energy.

These could come in the form of:

  • People
  • Social media most definitely
  • Disorganization

Anything that creates added chaos and commotion in your day is gonna hijack your time and energy.

The solution to this is to cull the chaos

Here’s how:

  • Delete social media apps
  • Put parent settings on your computer if you have to
  • Turn your phone on silent
  • Turn off 99% of notifications
  • Send people an email letting them know your office hours
  • Purge that crazy office down to the bare minimum
  • Simplify your meal plans

Anything at all you can do to simplify, minimalize, just get rid of any commotion or distraction in your life, in your business, in your home, in your office, in your organization, in your systems, whatever it might be, cull that chaos.

Tara on phone at her desk


Reasons number three you are so busy but not getting jack done is that you are doing too much probably all by yourself, and I see this show up for two ways in women.

  1. Not investing in help as their business grows. 
  2. Still trying to do everything themselves at home while they’re also growing a business.

There is a season in everybody’s business when you’re doing everything yourself and you are just in hustle mode and you’re rocking and rolling, but you’ll get to a point where you hit a glass ceiling unless you start allocating even the tiniest little budget to bringing in help and allowing people to take care of things outside of your zone of genius, or outside of that important non-urgent quadrant, that you need to be focusing on.

No woman is going to be successful on her own.

No successful business is actually a one-woman show.

It will require bringing in outside help.

Along those same lines, there is no successful business person out there who doesn’t also have help at home, whether that is in the form of sharing the load more equally with their partner/kids or bringing in somebody to help them to nanny, clean, or cook.

I know that this can bring up some mom guilt, and I wanna remind you that there is no shame in outsourcing.

Successful women outsource everything they can so they can show up in the most important places: in the places that they can make the biggest, most important impact both in their businesses and in their home.

Successful women outsource everything they can so they can show up in the most important places – in their businesses and their home. Share on X

The solution here is to ask for, beg for, barter for, pay for help; mom guilt and worrying about what others might think of you be damned.


Reason number four you are busy but not productive is because you are freaking tired.

You are doing all these things, maybe even all the right things, but without prioritizing your self-care likely because you feel like you don’t have time, right?

Or, it gets scheduled on your calendar but it gets bumped for all these urgent things or all of these damn hijackers.

If this is a challenge for you, too, number 1, you are not alone.

Number 2, please download my Self-Care in Seconds Training.

You need it. It’s free.

You can download it by clicking here!

the word "mindfulness" on a piece of paper in the window


Reason number five that you are busy but not productive is because you’re playing it safe.

This one is a hard one to spot because it requires some real talk and some real honesty with ourselves.

How often do we let distractions or hijackers or lack of clarity of lack of self-control happen, because the alternative mean buckling down and making real business happen.

AND that means facing all of our fears around success or failure or what others might think.

It means finding out if we are or are not legit capable and good enough, so instead of taking action, we scatter our energy and focus because that way, if we fail, we can blame other things.

We can blame the distractions.

We can blame our fatigue.

We can blame some other person.

And we never actually have to face the fear that we worry we will find out is true.


It is not gonna solve all these problems for you in 15 minutes, but it will introduce you to a five-part process to help you start overcoming these types of personal bottlenecks, bottlenecks like limiting beliefs, overwhelming emotions, getting stuck on that hamster wheel of being busy, but not productive.

It’s totally free and you can download by clicking the image below or click here to learn more!


How do you get yourself off the Busy Bus? Drop your best tips or ideas in the comment section below for others to learn from.

Scroll down to leave your comments!


Love it? Share it?

*This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer here.


start here
How to Upgrade Your Business So It Doesn't Burn You Out (3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

You need a better approach.

Let me show you mine...

The Breakthrough Roadmap

How to upgrade your business so it doesn't burn you out

Attend this free training to learn the 3 mistakes small business owners are encouraged to make, and my Roadmap to create full-time profits without burning out.

P.S. This class has important takeaways for ALL entrepreneurs, from pre-launch to 6+ figures. It’s where I recommend everyone start to get to know me and ensure I’m the right mentor for you. Grab a seat now!

Wanna hear when fresh posts land?

Leave a Comment

Picture of Tara Wagner

Tara Wagner

I’m Tara Wagner, creator of the Breakthrough Boss®. I help small biz owners overcome burnout and create part-time schedules with full-time profits. Not with some new marketing strategy, but with a holistic approach to how you operate.
Let's Connect On

Wanna hear when fresh posts land?

*Make sure your email is real + correct to receive your updates via your inbox!

By submitting your info, you’re agreeing to my Privacy Policy. I will never share your info in any way (I hate that too), and you may opt-out at any time.

Get the Bottlenecks to Breakthroughs Training

How female entrepreneurs can overcome the limiting beliefs, fears, and obstacles holding them back from success

Get it sent directly to your email.

*Make sure your email is real + correct to receive your free guide delivered to your inbox!

(Privacy Policy: Your Info is 100% Secure and Never, Ever Shared. Cuz I hate spam too.)


How To Upgrade
Your Business So It
Doesn't Burn You Out

(3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

How to Upgrade Your Business So It Doesn't Burn You Out (3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

🚫 Spending hours per week creating content?

👆 Click to learn how! 👆