Most of the work we do is predetermined or simply shows up.
We make checklists, prioritize based on the level of urgency, put out fires, try to stay on top of the constant bombardment of emails and phone calls…
Regrettably, most of the day is spent filled with busy work, not productive work.
This type of busy work will never go away. The inbox never stays at zero. There is always something left undone to do.
So why do we prioritize busy work over productive work?
It’s another form of hiding.
It’s rare to be able to have the emotional energy leftover to do the hard, arduous work of doing things that might fail or something that has never been done before.
“I’m too tired” lets us off the hook today until tomorrow comes again.
What we need then is to define our work:
Do work worth doing. Do the hard part first. Delegate, trash, use whatever means necessary to free up the time to solve complex problems.
Urgent and busy isn’t the same as productive and important.
Define your work before it defines you.