Pseudo Work

Jul 3, 2024

Pseudo work is activity that appears productive but doesn't contribute directly to actual outcomes. It can be difficult to identify. Examples include:

  • Having meetings about meetings
  • Preparing to do a task instead of doing it
  • Having meetings to review work of others in detail

Any activity not directly linked to valuable outcomes for your company should be eliminated. Pseudo work is like a disease that spreads quickly if not treated with urgency and determination.

Unfortunately, the default view of work in many organizations focuses heavily on pseudo work. Most large companies fall victim to it, mistakenly believing employees are "productive" and driving outcomes.

Business graduates are particularly susceptible to it. Many management tasks often fall into the category of pseudo work. While some companies and stages may require such activities, you'd be surprised how often they have no real impact on valuable business outcomes.

When building a company in its early stages, be determined to eliminate pseudo work at all costs. Every action should be rooted in outcomes that directly drive value for your company. Everything else is a distraction and unnecessary overhead that should be ruthlessly eliminated.