Michael Bungay Stanier in his book Does more great work defines three types of work a person does in a day.
It’s a simple and powerful insight that can help us both for stopping the busy work and doing more work that matters.
The First one is Bad work…
The pointless-work. The work that does not help you and the other person in any way. The work that feels important but in reality, doing it is a waste of time, energy and money.
Thanks to our corporate culture, which organizes useless meeting every week, using outdated process and system that making their employees more un-productive and sucks their time and energy out of them where it should be spent on doing great or good work.
Doing Bad work for just one hour is equal to wasting 3 or more hours of time.
The Second One is Good work…
Ah-ah! A much better approach than Bad work but still not Great work.
Good Work blossoms from your training, your education, and the path you’ve travelled so far. It’s a source of improvement and success.
Many of us do good work but we’re not aware of. By investing our time doing good work help us to be efficient, focused, productive, energetic and useful to others not only at home but at work as well.
It’s similar to preparing for doing Great work in future.
Good Work is important but also seductive. If you think back on the last week’s work that you did, and even though you put in 40 hours or more, you can’t really remember anything you did … well you’re probably doing a lot of Good Work.
And the third one is Great Work…
You might already have a sense of what this is. This is the work that is meaningful, that is impactful, the work you care about.
Here what Michael Bungay says about Great work:
“ Great Work is what we all want more of. This is the work that is meaningful to you, that has an impact and makes a difference. It inspires, stretches, and provokes.
Great Work is the work that matters. It is a source of both deep comfort and engagement—often you feel as if you’re in the “flow zone,” where time stands still and you’re working at your best, effortlessly. The comfort comes from its connection, its “sight line,” to what is most meaningful to you—not only your core values, and beliefs, but also your aspirations and hopes for the impact you want to have on the world. “
Such powerful lines that make us feel the importance of Doing Great Work.
But, the majority of people in an office, or in a community don’t even the existence of Great work. That’s why they are not satisfied with their everyday job. That’s why they are out of energy as it sucked already by the Bad work.
Doing great work is a sort of thrill, an adventure that needs s empathy, love and
real connection. On the other hand, it involves anxiety, tension, fear and risk because now we're doing what’s not done by most of us.
Let’s be clear,
I’m not talking about QUALITY and PERFECT work or projects. Rather, I'm focused on impactful, purposeful and meaningful work. Projects you’re PROUD of when you see them exist in the world. The quality and perfectness of work keep improving and growing by time.
“So, Harkirat, how do we know what’s the great work for me?”
Here’s a simple exercise you can do by blocking 5-minutes of time now or later in the day.
Track your work and see what’s the work or project that adds more energy in you, that makes you feel good when you’re working on it, that makes your peers talk about you with you, helping you improve your work. If you have such work that will be your Great work.
It can be as simple as writing daily blogs like I do (this is a great work for me) or making new approach/process for doing office work or helping your co-workers in learning something new after office hours.
Decide it and stick on it. Cut-off the bad work and perform great work more often in a day.
And remember, you don’t need a new workplace or new tools or new resources or any other excuse for doing Great Work.
Trust me, you’ll feel good about the work you do :)
“ All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.” ~ ALBERT CAMUS
Thanks for reading :)