Money & Business

Daily Buzz: Resolve to Do Less Busywork

By / Dec 17, 2019 (smolaw11/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

To grow professionally and organizationally, encourage your team to participate in a deeper level of work. Also: how to market a family-friendly event.

In need of a New Year’s resolution? The team at WBT Systems has one for you: Stop spending so much time on busywork.

Busywork can be considered “logistical tasks that don’t require much brainpower and are often done while distracted,” the team writes on its blog. “This work does not usually create new value and is easy to replicate. Dealing with email and chat messages, checking social and platform notifications, pulling reports, and data entry are examples of shallow work.”

Instead, the team recommends turning your focus toward “deep work” opportunities.

“Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, defines deep work as professional activities done in distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit,” they say. “Deep work creates new value, improves skills, and is hard to replicate.” Examples of deep work include researching, brainstorming new ideas, and analyzing data.

Because deep work happens more often in a quiet environment, encourage employees to block off time on their calendars as distraction-free zones, where they can achieve uninterrupted levels of concentration. This is especially important for employees who work directly with members.

“When you add members to the mix, deep work seems even more impossible,” the team says, because “responsive member service is highly valued.”

Although it’s important to answer member inquiries in a timely manner, taking time away from phone, email, and social media to accomplish other goals is essential to productivity. Just make sure to communicate your availability beforehand so members know when they can expect to hear from you.

Get Specific in Kid-Friendly Meeting Marketing

As attendance numbers for family-friendly events climb, it might be time to consider a kid-friendly soiree. Just let parents know exactly what they can expect—kids’ activities and otherwise—in your event marketing campaign.

“A good event description is critical,” Jodi Polasky, founder of Pretty Princess Parties, told the Eventbrite blog. “As an attendee, if you’re going to a musical festival, you know what you’re getting. But for something that’s more niche, you might not exactly understand what the event is.”

So get specific, especially when there may be a less-obvious kid-friendly attraction to your conference.

Other Links of Note

Should you charge a joining fee? The Membership Guys discuss when it might be OK to add this one-time fee for signing up.

Training alone won’t improve your organization. You need a follow-up action plan to engage employees or members, says the Bloomerang blog.

Every office has a social butterfly. Harvard Business Review shares how to manage these employees so that they won’t cause distractions.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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