I’ve long been a fan of the Change This manifestos, short pieces by leading writers and thought leaders sharing insights, strategies and tactics. They’re worth picking through and finding the ones that offer solutions to the challenges you have.
I’m thrilled to have contributed the following manifesto on busywork and effective time management to the collection.
With organizations that are lean, global and matrixed, with nowhere to hide from emails and meetings, everyone’s busier than ever before. But it’s not a good busy.
It can be, sure. But most of us have found that the goal of our current working lives is simply to get through the stuff.
When I ask people who work for organizations how much of each type of work they do— whether they work on the front-line or at the very top of the organization—here’s what I hear:
0% – 40% on Bad Work.
40% – 80% on Good Work.
0% – 25% on Great Work.
Regardless of the numbers (and probably more importantly), no one has yet said to me, “I’ve got too much Great Work. I’m overloaded with meaningful, engaging work that really makes a difference.” So why aren’t we doing more Great Work? Why does life at work feel like a conveyor belt, churning through tasks, trying to just make it to the weekend—when, let’s face it, we’ll most likely open up the laptop “just to stay on top of our email?
The problem is the busywork, and it’s got to stop.
You’ve probably heard most of the usual suggestions on how to manage “the overwhelm.” So here are 7 counter-intuitive, but practical ways you can stop the busywork.