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The Number One Secret to Looking Busy At Work


Robby

Maybe it’s the Midwest culture, but it seems like a lot of people at companies in Central Indiana have a relaxed style of speaking but a busy style of working. There’s an advantage to looking busy: you’re less likely to be detained and better able get things done. So how do you make sure others don’t bug you?

Here’s the secret: always be carrying something!

Carrying Something
© Flickr User mobileedgelaptopbags

It’s amazing how busy a person looks if they are carrying a briefcase, a folder, or even a coffee cup. Clearly, they are on their way somewhere. And worst case scenario, they can look at whatever is in their hands knowingly, as if to say “I gotta go.”

The more serious question is why do you want to look busy at work? Is that because you want to actually be busy? Or is it because you’re concerned that if you don’t look busy someone will give you something to do, or fire you?

A key problem at work is that we confuse busyness with value. If you look like you’re doing something, you must be doing something! If you look like you aren’t doing anything, people might think you aren’t benefiting the company.

So: if you want to look busy, carry something around. But if you want to talk about what it means to provide value, ask others what they think is useful.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, October 7 2014 » Personal Organization, Stress and Mindfullness, Uncategorized

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