Meta Work vs Doing the Work

There are 4 necessary steps to doing work that matters:

  • Identify
  • Plan
  • Act
  • Celebrate

Only one of those steps is actually doing the work. The other 3 are what we call “meta work”.

Meta work is the work that happens before and after the work itself. If you are cooking dinner, meta work is doing your meal planning and going grocery shopping and then cleaning up after dinner. If you are writing an article, meta work is scheduling your writing time and topic.

There are so many times when we feel like meta work is a waste of our time. Planning, meetings, reviews, etc… why bother!? Let me get to work!

To be sure, we never want the meta work to get in the way. But neither can we skip it. When you look at the meta work in context of the bigger picture, you can instantly see that it is necessary. You cannot skip any of the steps or else you will short-circuit the whole process. But, of course, neither should you spend too much time on the meta steps.

Meta Work vs Doing the Work