Eliminate fake work

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” - Colin Powell

Real work or fake work, what gets most of your attention? Understanding the distinction between the two is critical to your success. How much time and resource is wasted each day on fake work?

Fake work often masquerades as busyness. Essentially, it’s the work that has little or no correlation to the achievement of your goals. We see it happen every day in the form of unnecessary emails, meetings, reports, urgent requests for information that have low importance, being measured on hours inputted instead of outcomes etc.

Conversely, real work is aligned to the achievement of the targeted goals. The problem for many workers is they have the intent to do the real work, but they get distracted by the volume of fake work. A lack of clarity is the dilemma that comes with busyness. It’s why workers need a defined working rhythm that is aligned to their strengths, weaknesses and preferences. Productive workers don’t necessarily work the fastest. Instead, they are effective at accomplishing the real work.

How can you eliminate fake work? Some believe implementing agile will do so because it will help to increase focus, collaboration, responsiveness to change and speed to market at an organisational context. However, agile doesn’t go deep enough to how an individual works at their workspace to eliminate fake work. This is where maximising personal productivity plays a part.

To eliminate fake work, individuals and teams need to be able to:

  • Plan – for the high impact important work that will drive focus to achieve targeted results
  • Schedule – when the high impact important work will be performed, while also making an allowance for the work that needs to be reacted to that can’t be scheduled
  • Zero tolerance – develop culture in a way that has a zero tolerance to what the team defines as fake work

Being able to reduce or eliminate fake work is a key reason why my customers are able to realise productivity improvements of 100 minutes a person a day. Imagine how much more effective you would be if you could just focus on what’s important and not get distracted and drained by fake work?