Scott Belsky On Insecurity Work

In the era of Google Analytics and Twitter, we spend too much time obsessing over real-time data. Just a decade ago, we had to wait for weekly and monthly reports for information that is now always available at our finger tips. Whether it is checking your site’s traffic, customer sentiment, or your bank account, these small repetitive actions don’t help you make ideas happen. They just help you feel safe.

“Insecurity Work” is stuff that you do that: (1) has no intended outcome, (2) does not move the ball forward in any way, and (3) is quick enough that you can do it multiple times a day without realizing.

And puts us at ease. The first step for reducing Insecurity Work is self-awareness.

I was astonished by the spectrum of self-imposed guidelines and very effective rituals that people use to reduce insecurity work. Insecurity work is yet another workplace phenomenon that can reduce productivity and obstruct great execution.

Insecurity work is everything instead of doing actual work. Disconnect. Restrict the times when you access the Internet. Set fixed work times in your day. Stick with it.


November 13, 2013