Michael Putegnat

WorkaHolism may not be the best term for the condition. After all, work, from the physics definition, requires some amount of accomplishment to qualify. Spending time doing things that don’t is called “effort”. If you decant out of the day what effort actually contributed to work, I think most of us would agree that getting forty hours of work out of 40+ hours of effort is the weekly challenge. In fact, as the meter runs past the 40, effectiveness begins to drop dramatically. That is, if this is a consistent schedule. As managers, the most valuable work we can do is thinking. Notice that the highest rate of compensation we pay out is to people who are in the thinking business and the lowest rate is paid to those who do tasks. Managers who spend hours doing tasks are actually not present as managers at all. My sense is that often times we use jobs, and particularly tasks, as a retreat from something else less pleasant: a sort of therapy. The best managers I have ever seen shared in common that trait that they let others do tasks while they spent as much time as possible thinking about how to improve the product of other peoples’ work. Imagine what 10 hours of thinking a week, every week, would do for the progress of our assigned department, division, company, etc.

So what’s the best thing we can do for our entities as regards to “work”? Think more; task less. You’ll be home by 5 most days and your entity will outshine all those around it. Time, afterall, is an INPUT measure. We need to be in the OUTPUT business.