It’s easy to feel productive. You can get to inbox zero, clean your room, color coordinate your calendar, clean up your desktop…
But feeling productive doesn’t mean real progress is achieved. In fact, fake work can feel like real work (it takes time, you feel like you’re checking things off of a to do list, which also feels productive) but fake work doesn’t help you reach your goals or make true progress.
I struggle with this personally, but I run this test:
Am I putting something else off to do this work?
If the answer is yes, then I’m doing fake work. Let me give you a recent example:
“I’ll write that email after I get to inbox zero.”
“I’ll stand that website up after wash my dishes.”
The things we put off are often the things that we know to be real work. The important stuff. The harder stuff.
When you put off real work, you fall behind. When you put off fake work, it doesn’t matter.