CAREER DEVELOPMENT / APR. 22, 2016
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4 Things You Can Do to Avoid "Fake Work"

If you are working in an office, then you are probably stuck in a rut of clocking in at 9 and clocking out at 5 - after all, this is the world of business. There are some productive days and others which are very slow; it is very easy to fall into the trap of fake work - this is when you “work” but your efforts are not clearly aligned with the goals or strategies of your company, and you are not very efficient.

See Also: How to Get a Promotion at Work

So, how do you avoid fake work and achieve something that does align with the organization’s goals and visions?

1. Align Goals

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You need to make sure that every single task that you accomplish or thing you do at work fits into the organization vision and meets quarterly or even yearly goals. If you want to do this properly, you can use the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) concept introduced by Intel to help you out.

Outline the company goals and then align all your personal goals directly with the company ones.

2. Prioritize

Once you manage to align all your goals, then it is easier to decipher what is important (for you or the company) and what’s not. If you spend all your energy and time on the important tasks (those with significant results) then you will almost certainly avoid doing any fake work - you will instead focus on profitable and beneficial work.

3. Communicate Effectively

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We have talked about the differences between fake and profitable work, but to be able to distinguish between the two, you need to be aware and recognize what goes on in your workplace and to do that you need to exchange ideas, thoughts and visions with your coworkers and your manager.

To do this, it would be beneficial to have a good communication system in your workplace. For example, by having regular meetings or using status reporting software to share what’s being done during the week can be beneficial. If that is too formal, even just talking or sharing your thoughts with colleagues will improve the productivity and overall performance of the entire company - any type of communication helps employees to stay on track.

4. Time Blocking

If you are working in an open space environment, you can easily get distracted by your coworkers chatting, incoming emails, or even random noise from outside. Yes, I know, some of these distractions cannot be controlled or avoided, however, there are some which can be controlled to a certain extent.

You can manage your time and how long you spend on tasks. Try dividing your hours into uninterrupted blocks of time. Devote 1 hour in the morning and 1 in the afternoon solely to answering emails, phone calls, messages or anything of that matter. Then divide your tasks into individual blocks of time and don’t do anything else apart from the specific assigned task. Whatever you do don’t try multitasking, as that has been proven to be counterproductive and make you less efficient.

See Also: How to Fake it ‘till you Make it

Avoiding fake work is not something just one person should do on their own - it should be a workplace wide requirement. But, if you cannot control how the company behaves, all you can do is make sure that you achieve the appropriate productivity goals for your own career success.

Can you think of any other ways to avoid fake work? Let us know below…

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