Why there’s no such thing as "Busy Work"

Here’s the latest article from our guest business writer, <a href="" target="new">Carissa Doshi. Personally, I’ve taken advice like this to heart during my time at GoodTemps, having coded and automated much of what used to take me several hours of repetitive manual work, into one click automated procedures that takes seconds to execute. <br /><br />Enjoy! ——

I’ve often heard employees complain about having to do "busy work" — things that are generally a waste of time on the job — and this includes anything from collecting information for an unending database to filling out time sheets. But these aren’t busy work in the traditional sense, or things your boss is only having you do to kill time. Such a thing doesn’t really exist in working America. Instead they are tasks that need to be done that no one wants to do. Sometimes they seem pointless and/or incredibly inefficient, but this is not a good reason to blow them off, angering your boss and anyone else counting on you to get them done. <br /><br />If you hate the tedious tasks assigned to you at work, there are some things you can do about it. If there is a more efficient way to do your "busy work," try it, or propose it to your boss. For computer programmers, this might be writing a computer program to do a job that you previously had to do yourself every week. If filing takes forever because the filing system is outdated and doesn’t really work anymore, ask if you can revamp it and reorganize the files. These fixes usually involve investing a little more time upfront and then save enormous amounts of time in the long run. It’s okay to ask, "Is there a more efficient way to do this task?" Odds are your boss hasn’t considered that question in respect to your job, and if you can come up with a better way of doing the same thing, he will welcome it. <br /><br />If you’ve streamlined your job as much as you can and you now have lots of free time or feel the job isn’t challenging enough, ask your boss if there is more work you can take on, such as helping with a new project. Your boss most likely assigns you what he thinks you can handle. If you can handle more, say so and your boss will be delighted to give you more to do. This is the best way to train yourself for a new job in a higher position.<br /><br/>——<br/>Carissa Doshi is a business writer and the president of Gen Y Media Group. She gives career advice and blogs about her experiences on <a href="" target="new">

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