Do you ever wonder why you can’t seem to reach your goals? Perhaps, at the end of an exhausting day, you frustratingly reflect on not accomplishing your most important tasks and wonder what got in the way? Or maybe you have a career happiness vision but “life” is holding you back from making this a reality.

While there may be underlying obstacles that may be preventing you from reaching your goals (which we explore and turnaround in coaching)—and while no one wants to live on a hamster wheel chasing too many or too grandiose objectives—we all still want to achieve goals. I could write for eons on this subject (check out my other blogs on time management), but, for today, I want to address busy work.

Busy Work or Easy To-Do’s?

A while back, I conducted an experiment looking at where my time was spent versus where I wanted to spend my time, considering what I wanted to achieve. What I learned was that too much busy work got in the way of my real goals.

Someone I knew once used a stopwatch to capture the exact amount of time each day that they were working on their most important tasks. Before they began, they assumed it would be roughly 5-6 hours. What they discovered was that they only averaged 45 minutes each day.

So I did the same over the last couple of weeks and was shocked that I spent less than an hour each day on my most important objectives. It was too easy to fiddle around on social media or respond to emails during my peak work times. I simply felt better checking off my list of busy work because in essence I was “accomplishing a lot.” Heck, I was busy!

But the wrong kind of busy.

I won’t bore you with the dirty details of my adventure, but I challenge you for just this week to do the following:

  1. Write down your three most important career objectives for the week. E.g., complete a career-enhancing project, redesign resume, work on homework, plan for a promotion or even network to build your career or sales.
  2. Set a timer when you embark on the activity and stop it when you’re done. Do this each time throughout the day that you attend to your three most important career objectives.
  3. Total your results. If it’s less than a few hours a day, we have work to do.

Give me a call and let’s strategize how to cut out the busy work and focus on building career happiness. I promise you coaching will have the most positive impact on your productivity minus the hamster wheel and with a lot more fun!