Busywork ( = an activity which is meant to take up time but not necessarily yield productive results) is much decried.
And yes, I agree it can be akin to presenteeism, to making it look like you’re putting in the hours, ticking the boxes, being there in body but perhaps not in spirit.
It can be. It all depends on how you go about it.
What we often forget to mention is that engaging in busywork can allow your subconscious processing to happen in the background. You’re keeping your hands and mind occupied with a focused activity, that produces a clear (if not spectacular) result. In the meantime, the bits of your brain you’re not aware of are tinkering. Sneaky-processing.
So, when it all gets a bit much for your (conscious) brain to process, plant some seeds, set an idea or intention, and then go get some busywork done.
Fill in the (seemingly pointless) spreadsheet. Wash some dishes. Fold some clothes. Colour in the circles. Whatever.
Do it with a purpose.
Then have a nap, or a shower, or both, and allow your subconscious processes to bubble up to the surface.