Rands In Repose: A Precious Hour

Speaking of busyness, today I came across an article by Michael Lopp on the topic. He says:

There is a time and place for the purposeful noisiness of busy. The work surrounding a group of people building an impressive thing contains essential and unavoidable busy and you will be rewarded for consistently performing this work well. This positive feedback can feed the erroneous assumption, “Well, the more busy I am, the more rewards forthcoming.” This is compounded by the insidious fact that part of being busy is you aren’t actually aware that you’re busy because you’re too busy being busy. You have no internal measurement of the amount of time you’ve actually spent being busy.

His strategy? Dedicate one hour each day to doing whatever you want that's not busy work. No phones, no Twitter, no interruptions.

I like it.

His entire article is worth a read.

More on busyness

The concept of "busyness" is something I find particularly interesting. I linked to an article by Harvard Business Review before that discussed the trap of acting busy just to appear to be busy to others or to yourself.

Today I came across an article by Randy Murray in which he addresses busyness from the point of view of a leader working with his staff. He says:

If you tell people to look busy or create an environment in which you give out unpleasant and unnecessary tasks when there’s not enough work, you’ll end up creating serious productivity problems for yourself. Your employees will learn how to slow down work to fill up time. They’ll avoid you. They’ll deceive you about the amount of time it takes to get things done.

In other words, don't persuade the people that work with you to fall into the busyness trap. On the contrary, encourage the to do the opposite.