Real productivity boils down to doing the work that matters; the work that has an impact on our major tasks. When you feel like you've had a busy day, but don't have anything to show for it, you've become a victim of "false hustle".
Photo by Michael
The term "false hustle" originated in baseball and is still commonly used in sports. For example, an outfielder that sprints from the dugout to right field appears to be hustling. But when the player jogs to the ball in order to make a play, it's clear that they had false hustle. They aren't putting the work in where it matters.
Jeff Archibald at Fast Company suggests that false hustle can be a part of anybody's work day:
False hustle is when you expend your energy on tasks that don't ultimately help you reach your goals.
Think about all the work hours you put in and try to determine what really got done. Maybe you got to work early, only to blow your extra time browsing the internet. Maybe you went to the store and bought some cleaning supplies for the house, only to come home and crash on the couch. Or maybe you answer email after email assuming you're getting work done, only to find yourself at crunch time toward the end of the day.
Think about the moments you false hustle and turn them into real hustle. If you want to sprint from the dugout into the field, that's fine, but be ready to make the play once you're out there.
False Hustle: How Keeping Busy Is Making You Less Productive [Fast Company]