Be Productive, Not Busy

Jackie WoodsideIf you ask psychotherapist, coach, speaker and author, Jackie Woodside is she busy she’ll say, “I’m never busy, always productive.” That may seem like an odd way to answer the question but it is indicative of how she lives her life and encourages others to lives theirs.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a conference called Come Into Your Own where Jackie was the keynote speaker. During the conference, she spoke about some of the concepts in her latest book, “Calming the Chaos: A Soulful Guide to Managing Your Energy Rather than calming-the-chaos-jackie-woodsideYour Time,” which presents a model for living our lives that is quite intriguing to me. After giving it some thought, I decided that it made perfect sense. Jackie suggests that we learn how to better manage our personal energy rather than our time because you can’t manage time. Time will keep moving no matter what we do. We spend our days packed full of activities and trying to get things done that zap all our energy and then complain that there isn’t enough time. Who told us to make our days full of all of those things that make us feel overwhelmed, stressed and inadequate, anyway? Think about how good we feel on the days we get everything done on our “to do” list. We feel accomplished, energized and satisfied with ourselves. What is preventing us from structuring our days to feel like this each day? Sure, there will be things that throw a monkey wrench in our plans like a car wreck, illness or spilling coffee all over ourselves while driving to work but what about the days where there are no catastrophes?

I’m sure it’s not going to be easy to retrain my brain about how I think about the concept of time, but I’m sure that I’ll be a better person once it’s done. It’s certainly worth a try anyway. Here are some of my Jackie Woodside takeaways.
• No matter what you do, time is going to pass. You need to manage yourself not your time.
• Busy is the new way of saying I’m important and I matter. Therefore, we feel if we’re not busy we aren’t doing anything of value. That’s not true.
• We can become so busy that we distract ourselves from fulfilling our true purpose and miss out on an abundance of happiness.
• You must calm your chaos. To do this, organize your mind and deal with your clutter and disorganization.
• Stop saying you don’t have time! You have time. It’s a matter of how you use it.
• What you believe will always generate what you produce.
• Know what you want to accomplish and produce it by taking the steps to accomplish it.
• The truth is that you have enough time and you are enough.

This is just a snippet of the conversation she had with the conference attendees. I encourage you to visit her site at and you may even want to read this great article she did for the Huffington Post. Then, purchase her book.

Jae Henderson is a native Memphian. She works as a freelance marketing and PR professional, journalist, blogger, book author and good woman. She is the author of six books designed to inspire people to be their best selves. Learn more at

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