Many people often confuse “activity” with being productive.Looking busy often gets accepted as being productive or working hard. Edmond Lau in his book “The Effective Engineer” has noted this by saying
“Not all work is created equal”.
Activities like writing status reports, organizing things, creating organizational systems, recording things multiple times, going to meetings, replying to low-priority communications only have a weak and indirect connection to creating value.
I have seen many a times that the productive time of – engineers atleast – gets lost due to meetings where they barely are even asked to utter one sentence or which are one way monologues, the essence of which they could as well have gotten over an email. Or when they have to share the same updates multiple times in different formats or on different systems. Or worse, running around, chasing different layers of management for approvals on mundane things.
All of these eat up their time and in the end they have a false sense of having a “productive day” while they barely generated any real value.
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