It’s very easy in today’s workplace to confuse activity with effectiveness.

We do certain things that give the appearance of busyness, but they don’t really help us to get closer to our objective.

Sometimes, we do this out of habit, perhaps we do it because it’s what everyone else does, or maybe we just want to convince everyone else (and ourselves) that we’re working.

But these things aren’t work, they just look like it. You’re paid to get stuff done, to solve problems, to increase influence, not to pretend.

So what are some things that look like work, but aren’t really?

Attending long meetings where you have no contribution to make and don’t learn anything new, isn’t real work.

Huffing and puffing around the office, scratching your head and looking stressed, isn’t real work.

Looking at problems and justifying to everyone as to why these problems are insurmountable, isn’t real work.

Walking around the office holding a piece of paper or folder while you waft around aimlessly, isn’t real work.

Complaining about your boss, peers, customers, new recruits or job to anyone within earshot, isn’t real work.

Spending hours looking at spreadsheets and presentations to make them look slightly better without improving the content within them, isn’t real work.

Scolding your staff for poor performance without giving them coaching or guidance to improve, isn’t real work.

Let me encourage you today that you have more to offer than that. There’s a job to be done and you’re the person to do it. Let’s find a way to do some meaningful work and make a real difference together.

Can you think of anything else that looks like work but isn’t?

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