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What Is Busy Work and Is It Ever a Good Thing?

Today’s question is:

“This may seem like a stupid question – and quick side note, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. So please never let that fear stop you from asking us anything. – but how do you know the difference between real productivity and busy work?

I noticed a certain amount of admin to do, and it always feels like there’s more I could or should be doing. But not having run a business before, I don’t know how to prioritize. Sometimes I feel really focused and clear, and other times kind of muddled. Is there a way to plan?”

Listen now:

Today’s question is about the difference between productivity and busy work. And it’s caused both of us to think about what busy work means for us, how we get distracted, and what distractions we allow in our days.

We discuss what you can do to be productive and how you know what you should be doing and when.

In this episode:

  • Defining busy work and looking at examples. 1:25
  • Can learning ever be considered as busy work? 4:15
  • What work you want to focus on within your business. 5:35
  • Figuring out where to spend your time if you’re newer to running a business. 9:40
  • Identifying what work would be most beneficial to prioritize. 14:00
  • How to persevere when running into roadblocks. 16:40
  • Busy work as an avoidance tactic and what’s at the root of it. 18:45

Click here to download a transcript of this episode.

Where to find Amy:

Where to find Kirsty:

Where to submit your questions (anonymous or not!)

About Business Badassery

Amy’s a conversion copywriter, business coach and serial business owner who’s been reading advice columns since she was nine. With decades of business experience, she’s gotten very good at quickly reading situations and coming up with solutions – especially on the fly. You can find her at

Kirsty’s a launch copywriter and ex-psychotherapist, who’s smack bang in the middle of scaling her business with online courses. She’s good at making sense of human tendencies, selling things with words, and only following the work that feels good. You can find her at

“Amy and Kirsty are wonderful, wise and witty!

I already push myself hard enough so I'm not interested in working with coaches that are going to "crack the whip" and "kick my arse".

Kirsty and Amy both have a gently challenging coaching style. I always left sessions feeling validated, smart and capable but with a clear idea of how to make things even betterer.”

Anna Rogan
Creative Copywriter

“Kirsty seems to have this ability to see things that aren't being said. And then she brings them to light in such a nurturing way. 

Amy is direct AND caring all at the same time. It makes it easier for me to get to the point cause I know you'll get to the point when you ask about the things you need more info on.

Together — I love that neither of them hold back when their opinion/suggestion/perspective differs from the other's. It just makes it all so much more valuable. 

Also, they’re both so genuine, warm, smart and hilarious. Those 'good' traits just compound when you put the two of them together, ya know?

Miish Grixti
Conversion Copywriter

“All I'd ever heard about Amy was that she's a great coach. Welp, she's a great coach. Knows the right questions to ask to get through the bullshit and get to the root issue.

And my sweet, sweet Kirsty. Using all of her best therapy tricks to keep us moving forward. And making us feel loved :)

Together? Stop. So good. I have never felt so supported. 

I think the value in coaching is having someone hold a bigger vision for you than you can see yourself. So having TWO of you hold that for me was extremely motivating.”

Megan Baird
Email Copywriter