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Why work doesn't happen at work

Alicia Rosas

An old TEDTalk by Jason Fried that discusses why we can't really get anything done at work (and why people get more done working from home), as well as the importance of an uninterrupted workday, particularly for creatives. I like the way he compares work phases to sleep phases!

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  • Heidi (Dita)

    Let's see, I do find what he says to be provocative, as he hoped it would be. However, I think more "meaning" and "autonomy" in the office is what he is going for. Meaningful meetings, meaningful communication, etc.

    I really like his distinction between voluntary and involuntary interruptions and why things like facebook, email, twitter, etc., are not distractions at work. Rather, people popping in my office/space or unscheduled meetings (MnMs) are the things that have always broken my train of thought and what truly irritate me!

    I don't think meetings are toxic if they are meaningful or are based on "catching up" or sharing new ideas, fine tuning individual ideas/work, etc. Thus, there are ways to contribute to a meaningful meeting by doing a lot of the groundwork before a meeting. Example: a google document where people get to pitch their ideas before the meeting, and then fine tune them at the actual meeting. He's right, expecting people to think creatively in a distracting and forced environment is not productive or useful. (This is very relatable to the classroom experience...)

    I love the ideas of passive communication, no talking, and instead of canceling meetings, I'd say make them as meaningful as possible by obviating the mind-numbing tasks usually done at meetings and putting the meeting more in the hands of the employees... that is, something they can actually look forward to.

  • Douglas Sellers

    It is totally true, when was the last time that you said "I really need to get some work done, I think i'll head into the office"

    • Max Schorr

      Ha. I said that on Sunday night, when no one was in the office, but yes, in general, totally agree, Doug.