Business

Shallow Work

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  1. More people want to contact you because of your good work, knowledge and expertise.

  2. You receive tons of emails, invitations to meet, and connections on LinkedIn.

  3. You manage a team with members who constantly ask for your help or feedback.

    Unless you’re superhuman, you’ll find that your own tasks are swamped by the above. And while it’s fair to say that the above tasks are valuable, they’re not the most meaningful or productive for you or your career.

    Put another way, you’ve fallen into a productivity trap. This trap is called shallow work.

    By being constantly occupied helping others and dealing with unimportant communications, you lose the time and energy to focus on the vital stuff. You may be helping to make your team or department run smoothly, but you’re not really moving the needle in your favor. For example, you’ve no time left to seek continual improvements, and no inspiration left for innovative thinking and big-goal achieving.

    It might help you to think of it this way: 80% of your work is probably spent on low-value tasks, while just 20% is spent on high-value tasks. You sit in meetings half a day, and spend the bulk of the remaining time processing your expenses, answering emails, helping colleagues, etc.

    If you want to get your career back on track, and start to achieve big things again, then you’ll need to time manage your work.