You don’t get paid for your effort. You get paid to produce results, outcomes, outputs.

It is tiring to hear people say, “I tried.”  When a company hires you to do work, it expects you to discover, solve, overcome problems to produce outputs that the company needs. If all you do is put in effort and spin your wheels in various ways, you are providing window dressing. The company does not need window decorators. You deserve to be shown the door.

Pseudo-work is pretend work. It’s effort without results. It’s effort with little output. Pseudo-work can quite often be discovered by managers, or in managers, in the following ways:

  • Focusing on changes in the numbers related to achieving outputs but not on changing or increasing the output of the units that matter.
  • Enlisting extra resources on a regular basis because of lack of skills or repetitive mistakes or poor planning.
  • Calling or holding frequent meetings to provide little needed reports, updates, or to solicit input at stages for which input isn’t needed.
  • No planning, little planning that causes disruptions in other departments.
  • Interpreting objectives, targets, measurment techniques, in ways that justify and create problems on purpose, or that justify poor productivity.
  • Purposefully misunderstanding and misinterpreting upper-management requests, or “knit-picking” grammar or the manner in which a request is expressed.
  • Being overly sensitive to emotions, statements, behaviour.

That might all be summarised into:

Beware of those who waste resources and hamper productivity and outputs because of redirection, misinformation, and distraction.