busy work

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busy work

Menial activities, tasks, or chores meant to occupy time, more so than to accomplish anything productive. I actually wanted to learn more about fossils, but the substitute teacher just gave us busy work to do.
See also: busy, work

busy work

Activity meant to take up time but not actually be productive. For example, We have to put in an eight-hour day, even if we do nothing but busy work. [c. 1840]
See also: busy, work
References in periodicals archive ?
Following his appearance before magistrates in Caernarfon, Llwyd appeared to blame his busywork schedule for the reason he was driving so fast.
Brewer also says that having Cortines handle the busywork allows him to attend school board meetings, lobby Sacramento and look at the big-picture items -- although it's hard to imagine what could be bigger than the systemwide restructuring that Cortines is currently planning.
I must plead as guilty as any of escaping into immediate busywork to keep from the far harder task of peering into a dim future, which, of course, should be one of a diplomatist's main tasks.
Certainly the last round of crisis-driven regulation - the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation that followed the Enron scandal - created more busywork for accountants than real protection against abuses.
We also have new potential for busywork and liability that leads able people to decline taking high-profile positions in all firms, large and small.
Evaluation involves grading students in authentic ways, not just assigning busywork.
Building PCP volume and planning for growth is not based on murky formulas, luck of the draw or fruitless busywork.
Problem solving becomes the busywork of organizations in which people have forgotten their purpose and vision.
The delays, frustrations and busywork experienced by carriers' producers (and insureds) as they initiate business, make policy changes or seek information from the carrier all inhibit the capture and retention of premium.
Each week recommends addressing a different topic--from school safety to strategies for English as a second language students to test taking considerations, adopting a focus toward homework as small amounts of meaningful work rather than large amounts of busywork, improving communication between teachers and parents, and much more.
The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
We're saying homework may do nothing to help kids become better learners or better people; it's literally busywork, which we give because we don't trust children to decide what to do with their time--or educators don't trust families to make such decisions.
So really, April and May is the only downtime, and even that downtime can be kind of fraught with busywork for the next season.
We can just add this to the busywork we already spend 50% of our days on (Medicare equipment forms, disability paperwork, drug assistance forms, etc.