Let’s face it, if you’re working more than eight hours a day, you’re not being effective. Lots of studies show that productivity declines rapidly after about eight hours of work. And much of what we’re doing in a day is busy work.
You might have heard of the term busy work but let me explain how I see it. Busy work to me is anything that doesn’t materially help you achieve your objectives and result in success. Let’s take that one slowly as there are a few thoughts embedded in here.
If you don’t know what success is in your role, then you’re doing busy work. In fact in this situation, all the work you’re doing is busy work. After all, if you don’t know what leads to success then what on earth do you know what to do when you get into work?
If you’ve done a good job establishing what success is in your role, then you have probably also figured out what objectives you have in place to achieve that success. If you’re doing anything that doesn’t tie into those objectives, directly then you’re doing busy work.
Next point. If you doing something that ties into your objectives but doesn’t help you meet those objectives in a material way then you’re doing busy work. Why would you do something that’s meaningless and immaterial in any case unless you’re trying to stay busy?
To bring these thoughts home, you should read an article from the Harvard Business Review about Why We Humblebrag About Being Busy. Let’s stop celebrating how much we work and instead start bragging about how little we have to work to get shit done.