3 Ways to Eliminate Slacktivities
plural noun: slacktivities
the condition in which unnecessary, ineffective, or useless things are being done to give the appearance of progress.
“there has been a sustained level of slacktivity by the intern”
- busy or vigorous action or movement that makes no progress, but gives a false sense of self satisfaction.
- “They would have made more progress if they hadn’t been so focused on slacktivities”
Yes, this is a made up word. However, it has been missing from the dictionary and from our organizations. Too many individuals take on tasks that provide little or no value to our organizations and it’s time to call them what they are. People look busy, but are just spinning their wheels.
Often, when people are faced with huge projects that seem daunting or with a situation with no specific place to start, they look for the easier things to do.
For a great example of this, look no further than your personal to-do list. We often look for the easiest tasks to complete first, especially if we have one or two overwhelming things that need our attention. It feels good to make progress, even if it is inconsequential. We might even find things to do that aren’t on our list and then add them, just to feel more productive. They problem is that these are just slacktivites. We are wasting our time and energy on things that bring minimal or no progress.
Why? Because it’s easier.
Apply this to your work. If you are truly honest with yourself, I bet you can think of several situations where you have chosen to apply yourself to no essential tasks to avoid something that seemed too big, too important, or too difficult to start. Calling that one huge client to have a difficult discussion all of a sudden take a back seat to cleaning off your desk, adjusting your email signature, or planning next weeks’ schedule. You have been tricked into the world of slacktivity. We justify doing everything… except the most important thing. Why? Because we want to feel like we are making progress. We want to look busy. We want to procrastinate.
Here’s how YOU can avoid slacktivites:
- What’s the one thing that gets you closer to your goals? Go do that first! You gotta eat the frog first!
- List 5 of the crutches that you use to make yourself feel active. This is your slacktivies list. Now, avoid the things on this list.
- Don’t give yourself permission to avoid starting large projects. One bit at a time is the only way you can eat the elephant.
Don’t be cursed by a false sense of progress. Avoid slacktivites!