In Do More Great Work: Stop the busywork and start the work that matters, Michael Bungay Stanier calculates that on average:

  • 10-40 percent of most people’s time is spent on Bad Work (work that is a waste of time and energy)
  • 40-80 percent of their time is taken up with Good Work (familiar useful and productive work),
  • while anywhere from no time to 25 percent is invested in truly Great Work (work that inspires).

What makes this book really unique is that it’s written in more of a workbook style. But instead of filling in blanks, readers complete visual exercises called maps to help them ask and answer the questions, then take action. One of the biggest bonuses in this book are the contributions of several different thought leaders in the business world who share what they’ve learned along the way and what they’d recommend to help you do Great Work. You can use this book and the exercises several different ways. By scanning the table of contents, you can skip around and start with the areas you need most or you could work your way through the ideas sequentially. It’s also very possible that you’d come back and revisit or rework a map later on.
From this book, here are the top ten things you need to know about work:

  1. If you don’t know where you’re starting from, it can be tough to get where you want to go.
  2. Bad Work is a waste of time, energy and life. Doing it one time is one time too many!
  3. Good Work is familiar, useful and productive. You do this well most of the time.
  4. Great Work inspires, stretches and provokes. It’s meaningful, but it can also be uncomfortable.
  5. Great Work always decays over time and becomes Good Work as you master it and take it for granted.
  6. Good Work is attractive because it’s comfortable, but it’s not as rewarding and challenging as Great Work.
  7. Different years demand different responses. Sometimes we stretch and sometimes we conserve and gather—laying the groundwork. Finding the right balance is our life’s work—always staying hungry for more Great Work.
  8. “Great Work is needed, but Great Work isn’t wanted. Look for places where you feel, ‘I just can’t take it anymore. I’ve got to do something different.’”
  9. Great Work shows up at the intersection where what needs to change in your world meets what’s important to you.
  10. If you’re able to be yourself, then you have no competition. This is me at my most essential, most authentic and best.

Content provided by Orange’s Stuff Leaders Want staff. Find more great leadership content at GoWeekly.

For more about leading yourself well, read:
Exhausted. Frustrated. Discouraged. Burned out.
The Easiest Way To Be Disappointed In Yourself And Your Ministry
Leading From Your Strength
Three Tips for Staying Energized in Ministry