My 5 Big Beefs with Busy Work



Does my writing look infected to you?

I hate to be one of “those people,” but work has gotten in the way of all my passions and dreams a little bit. I’m in a position that’s brand new to my company, which means I have to work my ass off to “impress” them. If I don’t impress them, then I probably lose my imaginary job and have to live a life of wandering and pursuing said passions and dreams and eventually lose all sense of material worth and that which society deems me responsible to be and live on a beach.

And, thus, I work ’til I’m fried.

The amount of work I’ve done every day, and the nature of quite a bit of the work I’ve done, is mind numbing. It requires incredible focus, speed, and just a pinch of creativity that can be at times hard to access when my brain gets too hot. And really, no matter what you’re doing, if you have to work off of eight Word documents open at a time, your brain is a little bit just like “FUCK IT.”

Which got me thinking the other day (or what little thinking I could do during my hour of “quiet time:” if you can’t visualize it, it’s me sitting with my hands propping up my forehead and staring unblinking at the wood fibers of my desk, like a turtle with a mildly boring but still quite traumatic Vietnam flashback):

I wonder if I’m incurring brain damage every time I get to this point.

What’s more, get to this point for the sake of dispassionate, formulaic, protocol busy work.

I’m sure there’s an article somewhere on the internet titled “Busy Work will Kill Your Brain.” I could just do a Google search to see, but I’m too tired. I could also just use that title for this article and make it up as I go along. But I’m too tired to do that, too.

These are my five biggest beefs with how much busy work consumes my life, and why it must go.

1. Brain cancer. This is how it will kill your brain. With brain cancer. I’m assuming.

2. Wasted time. Every moment I spend filling in fields with data is a moment I could have spent filling in fields of my screenplay with character names that seem normal but actually mean something in Latin that defines their character similar to but not quite the same as George Lucas once did.

3. Gives me permission to be lazy. Shit, I’ll be lazy any chance I get. And that’s the problem. While I’m working hard, I’m giving the creative and logical parts of my brain a break, at times for way too long when I’m engaging in busy work. I want to be exercising those bits of myself almost constantly, only giving my motor functions a break every now and again.

4. Little impact on the world. I save no lives doing busy work. In fact, even the client I’m filling out information for will probably only glance at it and then make a grunting noise and then do something else. That’s pretty sickening.

5. Doesn’t let me watch Netflix. Wait….what?

Here is where I spin you for a loop and tell you the argument I’m really making here. Busy work is not okay. UNLESS, it’s so mind numbing that I can watch Netflix effectively while I’m doing it.


Did I fool you? Or do you agree?


4 thoughts on “My 5 Big Beefs with Busy Work

  1. Love this post. Espeially the part about the secret Latin meanings in the names of your characters- I try to do that all of the time, except I dont know Latin.
    Next personal goal: Learn Latin.

  2. Pingback: The Hardest Part of My Day: A JT Love Story | Life Lessons from Somebody Else

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