There’s a difference between being productive and being busy. I’ve noticed some people pack their schedules so tight that they are frequently late or they forget to eat meals. I don’t think being busy should be a badge of honour; I think it’s more a sign of poor time management. Being productive, on the other hand, is something to strive for.
How can you be productive without being busy? Learn to say no. Is that coffee meeting really necessary? Sure, you might be doing somebody a favour but when do you draw the line? Remove distractions. When you’re working on something, get rid of all other distractions until you are done or until you take a break. Constantly checking your email or managing other correspondence while you’re working can sap your productivity. Be realistic with time. Give your self plenty of breathing room between appointments and meetings. Schedule yourself time to eat and take breaks. Working through lunch doesn’t do you any good if you’re braindead all afternoon.