First, a definition of busy work. Busy work does not equal mundane task. Mundane tasks, such as balancing the checkbook or analyzing the number of visitors to a site or the number of new e-letter subscribers (Are you a Write Right subscriber?), serve a purpose. They may not be the most fun of tasks, but they do have a goal.
Busy work is busy work. My first experience with busy work happened at my job at McDonald’s. I was told I needed to look busy, so I wiped tables that already were clean, and I piddled around the fountain drink area and made sure the condiments and other containers were full even though I had just checked the condiments and containers. The appearance of productivity wore on me. I came to hate my job. I wanted to do something, not merely pretend to be doing something.
I suppose my issue with busy work is that it is unproductive work. It doesn’t require thought; it’s mindless and aimless. Such work drains my energy. It only makes me want to beat my head against a wall. The work that brings me the most joy requires attention and involvement.
Thus, I say, “Death to busy work.” What say you?
Photo: Flame Thrower (CC BY NC SA 2.0)