Beware a Culture of Busyness. Organizations must stop conflating activity with achievement
In the 58th episode, we look at the importance of being productive but less busy.

Opis epizode

Too many teams overvalue busyness, fostering cultures of long work hours, meeting overload, and chronic multitasking. But our obsession with staying busy is misguided—and it can actually come at the expense of productivity. It can cause organizations to overload their employees, base their incentives on the amount of time they put in, and excessively monitor their activities, all of which undermine productivity and efficiency, research shows. Meanwhile, reducing work to manageable levels can actually enhance them. Here’s how to reverse the destructive trend.


  • Reward output, not just activity. Recognize and promote employees who work efficiently and produce the highest-quality work—not just those who log the most hours.


  • Eliminate low-value work and foster deep work. Conduct an audit on your team to determine how much time per week they spend on shallow tasks versus the time they spend deeply focused on high-value tasks. If the results are skewed toward low-value work, help them reprioritize, delegate, and eliminate the busy work that’s getting in the way of real productivity.


  • Nudge people off the clock. If you want your employees to truly thrive, you need to allow time for their minds to wander. Encourage them to sign off earlier, work less on weekends, and (crucially) actually use their allotted vacation time.


  • Model the right behavior. The boldest leaders aren’t those who burn the midnight oil; they’re the ones who set the norm by taking a pause. When you show that your own busyness isn’t a prerequisite for success, others are more likely to follow suit.


The famed UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Never mistake activity for achievement.” Yet companies keep falling into that trap, despite considerable evidence that increased work doesn’t necessarily lead to increased productivity. Businesses and leaders must step up to take a stand against the busyness epidemic so that we can begin to create not only more sustainable organizations but also more sustainable jobs.


What does your team’s culture look like?

Do you reward output and not activity?


Waytz, A. (2023, March-April). Beware a Culture of Busyness. Organizations must stop conflating activity with achievement. Harvard Business Review.

Naroči se

Mark Kalin je izkušen manager, podjetnik, innovator, mentor, predavatelj in strokovnjak za vzpostavljanje inovativnih ekosistemov in transformacij kultur ter strokovnjak za vzpostavitev visoko zmogljivih virtualnih timov, z zelo bogato izobrazbo in poslovnimi izkušnjami.

Prejšnja epizoda

Naslednja epizoda

Poslušaj več