Everyone will most likely find themselves passing time at the office by doing work that doesn’t really mean much to the company. It’s a side effect of our nine-to-five culture. Here, communications expert Alexander Maasik describes what ‘fake work’ is and how we can avoid it.
Maasik says that according to the Pareto Principle, 80% of effective results come from 20% of our work, so we have to determine which 20% we have to do to get results.
The definition of ‘fake work’, according to Rodger Dean Duncan, is work that is “not explicitly aligned with the strategies and goals of the organisation”. There are five criteria for determining what profitable work is and how to do it.
1 Align your tasks
Gain a clear understanding of your company’s – or your boss’s – quarterly and yearly goals and make sure everything you do fits into them. Once you understand the bigger picture, you can set yourself personal goals that are directly related to the company’s objective.
Once your goals are defined, it’ll be easier for you to decide what’s important and what’s not. Spend your energy on the things that really matter and you’ll maximise the effects of the Pareto Principle.
3 Ask for and give feedback
Exchange ideas with your boss and co-workers so you can figure out what’s meaningful work and what’s fake work. It’s good to have a system of internal communication, whether that’s meetings, the use of reporting software, or some other network for sharing ideas.
4 Divide your days
It’s easy to get distracted by co-workers, emails, phone calls and other random factors. While it’s sometimes impossible to avoid them, we have to have some control. Divide your day into uninterrupted blocks during which you don’t answer emails, texts and, if possible, calls. Find one task to focus on during these blocks, as multitasking decreases productivity by 40%.
5 Take a break
We all experience dips in energy levels. It’s easy to simply sit at your desk and answer emails while your mind is focused on your personal life and the weekend ahead. It’s important to pace yourself and take regular breaks so you don’t run out of energy early in the week.
Read the original article at entrepreneur.com/article/252998