72,000 Hours Of Meaningless Work

business Jul 29, 2022

By Patricia Wooster

Are we destined for 72,000 hours of meaningless work?

 Have you ever started working on something and completely lost track of time? Or collaborated on a project where the ideas just flowed, the team was perfectly aligned, and you couldn't wait to jump back into it every day? If so, this IS the definition of meaningful work. Unfortunately, most people are not getting enough of it.

 Most of us will spend over 90,000 hours at work throughout our lifetime. And during those hours only 20% of that time is spent on crucial or important work and the other 80% is on activities of little or no value. That's 72,000 hours of meaningless work, which I often refer to as "tasks and asks." The "asks" are the things that fulfill someone else's agenda, like email requests, meetings, favors, and projects outside your area of interest.

As human behaviorist, Amilya Antonetti says, “This happens so often when other people's fires become our fires, and even though we start our day with such a great plan we're quickly distracted. This is when we must have tools in place to modify our behavior so we can stay on our tract.”  

So, who's responsibility is it to create this work environment? The company? Or the employee? 

The answer is "both." The company and the individual both benefit. At an individual level, we all want to do work that matters, stretches us, and helps us reach our goals. As a company or manager, we want our employees to be productive, contribute, and help us achieve our goals. Sound similar, right? So, how can we do this at both levels?

  • As An Individual: Time Blocking, Establishing boundaries, Communicating Wants/Needs, Utilizing Genius 
  • As A Corporation/Manager: Understanding Employee's Genius, Knowing What Gives Each Employee Meaning In Their Work, Reducing Friction In the Workplace, Productive Meetings

Need help Designing Genius and meaning in your workplace?

Finding what brings meaning to you or your employees can lead to a more rewarding career and productive workplace. Think of all the amazing innovations that can happen by reclaiming some of the 72,000 hours lost in returning emails and boring meetings. 

Increasing genius in the workplace is not always straightforward, even when you follow the steps above. That's why Designing Genius has created the tools to help people reach their highest and best potential. Get in touch to see how we can help bring genius to you or your organization today.

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