Michael Lewis’s tricks to cutting out busy work


Building a great user experience requires great minds. We’ve spoken to eight Dropboxers who are working to make the world work better. By sharing what these leaders are up to in their daily routines, we hope to highlight the values that grow our culture.

Working in marketing customer strategies and insights at Dropbox, Michael Lewis specializes in supporting marketing to drive adoption of Dropbox products. He’s come to learn that focusing on the big picture means cutting out distractions and busy work.

Michael believes that work should be challenging, not hard — which means he’s always looking for ways to avoid “work for work’s sake.”

“I eliminate busy work by taking a step back and calling out what my overall objectives are. Busy work isn’t actually driving any type of value, so it’s crucial to keep that in mind and continue to push back on anything that isn’t furthering your goals. I try my best not to delegate busy work to the team.

You also can’t put the cart before the horse. As an example, I was working once on a large project, and we continued to scope up the size of the project as we went along — eventually looping in the senior leadership. Well, the project stalled. We were trying so hard to enroll so many people at the front-end, that we really didn’t take into account how much work would be involved with an expansion of that size.

We ended up collaborating with other teams, sharing some of the work. We scaled down our aspirations and rethought the scope of our project. We were able to achieve results through working at the right scale. That experience taught me that there’s always the opportunity to learn more about how to collaborate and share info.”

Collaborating, for Michael, meant figuring out ways to avoid wasting time. He realized early on that a well-oiled machine was crucial when coordinating between different teams, and figured out a system for keeping that machine running.

“There are always ways to streamline some of the busy work. I work a lot on Dropbox Paper, which allows me to chase down my team and follow up on things I’ve asked them to do. I can assign tasks and integrate with everyone’s calendars. It helps me to understand the different needs of both my team and the users, and continue to develop products that meet those needs.

I believe the world can work better if we can evolve Dropbox to be something more than just a storage platform — to be a collaboration platform. Everything I work towards is furthering that goal.

We want to collaborate with you. Find out more about joining the Dropbox team on our opportunities page. And check back here for more interviews with the people building our culture.


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Dropbox is transforming the way people work together. Our mission is to unleash the world’s creative energy by designing a more enlightened way of working.

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