What Kind of Hustler are You? Productive or Unproductive? | Clapping Dog Media

Disclaimer: The reading of this post will be much more awesome for you — the reader — if you cue up and listen to WORK by Rihanna on repeat.

Sometimes I get stuck feeling behind in all of life + work. When this happens I make the huge mistake of  comparison. And I take my current status and compare it with all of the other bosses who are killin’ it.  I, then feel even further behind.

My natural response when this happens is to  start working more and doing all of the things quickly. I like the feeling of being busy.

Part of the busy-ness is an unyielding desire to clean up everything around me. To declutter my desk, to organize closets, to make endless to-do lists,  to download productivity apps, to wipe down windows, to do and do and do.


Then at the end of the day, I’m face to face with the fact that I have technically done a lot but not accomplished anything of importance. Ouch.

This is called:

Unproductive Hustle.

Productive Hustle

Jen Carrington who hosts the “Make it Happen” Podcast just chatted about this struggle between Productive Hustle and Unproductive Hustle. She says,

My biggest advice to anyone listening is to trade busy for impact. By impact I mean more impact in your business, more impact in your creativity, and more impact when it comes to finding joy and happiness in your creative life too. You don’t need to be excessively busy to thrive in your work, and you don’t have to clock in a certain number of hours each week to be a legitimate business owner. All you need to do is your very best work, to stay focused on the goals and results that matter to you, and to be brave enough to do business in the way that works best for you.

If you want to run a business that makes a difference and a positive impact on people you have to take a sober look at what you are actually doing.  How are you spending your time, is it with Productive or Unproductive Hustle. Are you simply busy or are you making an impact?

Is your business making an impact?

One of the main reasons I run my business is to make an impact on others around the world. I work to give. That is the meaning behind ubuntu, the belief that loving people is life’s greatest profit. I have traveled the world, I have seen people in need and I work to give to them. 

The lines sometimes get blurred though between being busy/unproductive and being impactful/productive. For me, unproductive hustle is scattered house cleaning, scrolling aimlessly through facebook, watching Instagram stories and reading emails…but not responding to them.

Unproductive Hustle Is

  • Working without a clear direction
  • Being Busy without being impactful, expending lots of energy but not getting anywhere.
  • Filling your to do list with stuff, but not embracing worthiness
  • Putting off the most important tasks and doing unimportant work
  • Working but not getting closer to your goals
  • Being busy, but less productive

Productive Hustle Is

  • Doing work that makes your heart sing
  • When you do real work, you make a positive contribution on your clients
  • Working on the most important things first
  • When you do are being productive you can get more done 
  • You don’t waste time on the wrong things, they understand data enough to know the right things
  • You don’t guess about numbers, you know the dada
effort doesn't equal progress

If you are not sure if you are really busy or making an impact, consider these questions.

  1. What is your one big goal for the next 90 days? What are you doing to move towards that goal?
  2. What is your biggest return on investment, what is helping achieve that?
  3. What content is resonating with your audience? Don’t guess, write more of what your audience is reading.
  4. Where are your most engaged and raving fans? Go to them and serve them.
  5. Are you saying no to things?  Some people are too busy because they simply can’t set boundaries.
  6. Stop comparing your business to others. What works for others won’t necessarily work for you. Embrace your own path. 

[bctt tweet=”Being Busy is EASY, it is hard to be productive.” username=”ClapDogMedia”]

Begin today and trade busy for impact.

In researching this phenomena , I came across several different ways people refer to, Productive Hustle, my favorite by far I gleaned from Jamie Foxx in an interview he did with Tim Ferriss’ on the Four-Hour Work Week Podcast, in this really engaging interview Jamie calls productive hustle the Hustle Muscle, catchy right?

Basically, the Hustle Muscle is Jamie Foxx’s way of saying if you want to get out there and get stuff done then you need to hustle to produce results under pressure. I think it is important to note that Jamie isn’t saying you have to be the absolute best at what you are doing, you just have to work and be productive.

How Do You Know if You Are A Productive or Unproductive Hustler?

Between content marketing, webinars, connecting with people, building facebook groups, writing courses, self care, podcasting, learning the next new social media thingy, sleep…there is a lot that can keep you busy. How do you know what is the most productive? Here is what works for me in my phase of business.

First, I look at my google analytics to see what my most engaging pages are…what does my audience like to read about? Instead of spending energy dreaming up new topics each week, I look at the data.

engaged pages

So these are the pages that have the most comments and my readers spent the most time on. These are the pages that my readers liked the most so I use these topics as starting points for my editorial calendar.

Next, I look at where my most engaged audience came from and I spend productive time engaging with that audience.

engaged referrals

So this is a list of other websites and social networks that referred readers to my site. These are my most favorite unpaid friends on the internet. I send them handwritten Thank You notes, give them shout-outs on social media, link to them on my site, refer my clients to them and etc.

Finally, I check in on how readers are finding Clapping Dog Media. Here is a quick listing of the keywords that are leading users to my site. I want to make sure that I am findable online because my website works 24/7 for me, I need to ensure that it is findable for what I want to be known for.


top keywords

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2017-11-07T06:10:59+00:00 Business Strategy|2 Comments


  1. Bettina August 11, 2016 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Really inspiring article, thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Tamara August 11, 2016 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    This is a fantastic article. Productivity is so important to business growth. Thanks for sharing.

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