Proxies for progress

There are number of things in professional life
That serve as proxies for progress;
Weak substitutes
For the work that really matters
Allowing us to be ’busy’ yet not really creating value
Spending the day raking leaves
Instead of digging for gold.
Important work demands focus
And in a hyper-connected world
Hellbent on distracting us
Focusing on hard things is harder than ever,
And its much easier
To fill our hours with the mundane and the urgent
Rarely really sinking our teeth into anything deeply
Before we are called for yet another meeting
Or notified of something that noteworthy on social.
Much of the day is consumed by the appearance of busyness:
Scrounging for an ‘online presence’
Measuring things like attendance of meetings
Compliance to esoteric policies
And responsiveness to emails
As though these things were our core business.
If there are only so many hours in a day
And only so many brain cells available to use
Surely we should contend to spend most of our time
Actually making progress
And not merely looking like we are?

One thought on “Proxies for progress

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