How to Say No to Busywork and Supercharge Your Career

Wall Street Journal
September 22, 2022
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Alex Wallbaum for The Wall Street Journal


Figure out what professional projects matter most—and ditch office chores that don’t help you get ahead.

Join that committee. Plan a lunch for the summer interns. And while you’re at it, can you help that guy in marketing prep for next week’s presentation? He’ll be delivering it, of course.

The chorus of asks has always been there, demanding our time. But as we head back to offices, it’s harder to hide from the busywork. Colleagues are eager to unload administrative tasks once absorbed by a shrinking population of executive assistants. Bosses feel pressure to check off requests from their superiors for yet another report or spreadsheet. And you’re just the person to do it.

“There is so much work that is being done that no one even looks at,” says John Matthews, who runs his own management-consulting firm, Gray Cat Enterprises, in Raleigh, N.C.

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Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is an American business-focused, international daily newspaper based in New York City, with international editions also available in Chinese and Japanese. The Journal, along with its Asian editions, is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp.

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