Why We Spend So Much Time at Work on Things that Don't Matter - Deepstash
Why We Spend So Much Time at Work on Things that Don't Matter

Why We Spend So Much Time at Work on Things that Don't Matter

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Why We Spend So Much Time at Work on Things that Don't Matter

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Bike-Shedding or Parkinson’s Law of Triviality

The less important something is, the more time is spent on it.

When a topic is simple and easy to grasp, like a bike shed, we will tend to have an opinion on it and thus more to say.

Even if we don't, we'll still say something so that:

  • We don't look stupid in front of our peers.
  • It looks like we're contributing.

Prevent bike-shedding with a clear purpose and objective. Ensure that your meetings have a clearly defined purpose or desired outcome.

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Less Is More

  • Fewer cooks in the kitchen generally leads to a better meal.
  • Be ruthless about limiting the size of the meeting.
  • If a big meeting is unavoidable, do your best to share both the purpose and relevant information ahead of time to increase the chances that participants will have something of value to say

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Delegate Trivial Matters

  • Identify trivial matters ahead of time and delegate them to individuals or smaller groups that are empowered to make decisions without the full group’s approval
  • This ensures that everyone is on the same page about what should and shouldn’t be discussed.

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Be Aware and Pick Your Battles

  • Don't engage more than you have to.
  • Save your voice for moments when you can contribute meaningfully.
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick.
  • Protect your energy and mental health by resisting the temptation to participate just because everyone else is.

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