Freedom from fake work

When I ask my son to clean up at night, he’ll sometimes start putting toys into the bin at a snail’s pace. Then, when I ask him to speed up, the motions turn frantic, but the toys keep hitting the bin at the same rate.

Lots more movement. Nothing extra to show for it.

Sometimes our workdays can feel that way. We’re busy all day, but when we look back, there wasn’t much accomplished.

It gets worse when we add a dose or two of social media into the mix. Skimming that feed involves reading, processing, and writing. It feels like work. It feels productive. So it must be, right?

The most successful leaders I know are relentless at prioritization. That doesn’t mean they’re heartless or task-driven machines. A top priority may be to connect with Jim over coffee and hear about his life. But they take the time to name what’s important, what’s valuable, and what’s scarce. They’re intentional about contributing there.

This can be as simple as starting the day by listing three things you’re grateful for and naming your intention or purpose. It might mean jotting down the top thee things that must happen today.

Bringing clarity to our “musts” makes the less important pieces stand out in contrast.

What if you committed to, as much as you’re able, identifying the fake work in your day, and relentlessly eliminating it?

You have one life. In it, you get to choose how you will connect and what dent you’ll make in the world. How was today an example of the impact you want to make?

Oh, and my son? He eventually gets the room clean. And the upside to all of that extra movement? He’s tired and ready for bed!

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