Streamlining your landfill

I was talking with a good friend the other day about priorities and demands within organizations. He expressed frustration with the amount of his time that has to be dedicated to work that is clearly not worthwhile. Or the worth hasn’t been made apparent.

He said, and we’ve all done this, that he tries to streamline the process so that it takes as little effort as possible. Of course it still takes enough effort that it comes frequently to mind.

And that’s because delivering faster only encourages more requests. People will perceive the cost as minimal and have even less reason to discuss the lack of value. The more time you save the more requests you’ll get.

This work is not only wasteful, it amasses baggage that must be carried around and taken care of. It’s akin to a corporate junk yard. People will think it’s valuable to maintain for years to come. What’s worse, if you get good at it, the junk yard will turn into a landfill in short order.

The only way to streamline the requests is to not do them. There’s no right way to do what shouldn’t be done. So the fastest way is to do nothing.

In the act of pushing back we have the unique opportunity to uncover what is or isn’t valuable. And we may even learn something that not only justifies the work but helps us be more successful in pulling it off. Or we could simply become efficient at accumulating garbage. Always hoping to one day get out of the refuse profession.