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It's partly a matter of definition. I usually don't feel like I'm getting work done during meetings, but sometimes I still need to be at them. I usually don't feel like I'm getting work done when I'm talking with coworkers about workplace politics, but I find that it's necessary in order to avoid being blindsided by politics that I wasn't aware of. I usually don't feel like I'm getting work done when I'm waiting for or pestering someone else to do something so that I can proceed, or when I'm waiting for a long installer, but I can't leave it because it asks me questions every now and again. I usually don't feel like I'm getting work done when I'm doing paperwork, but it still needs to be done.

All together, four hours of work a day that feels productive (like I'm "really working") isn't that far from the norm for me, and some weeks I don't even get that far. But it's not because I don't want to do more, it's usually because I can't because of other things that are very much "work" and that I am very much expected to do by my employer, but that just don't feel like work to me.

While four hours a day of "real work" may not sound like much, my employer is actually much happier with me than it would be if I spent 8 hours a day doing "real work" and ignoring all of the "fake work" that I'm also expected to do.




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