Inspiration: Jason Fried on Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work

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At TEDxMidwest, Jason Fried presented “Why work doesn’t happen at work.”  He compares a work day to sleeping (Source).  His tremendous ideas really do allow us to redefine what work is and where work takes place.  The real problems, Fried says, are the M&Ms: managers and meetings.

I can only do work at home when I’m by myself.  I read 8 books at a time on presentation at home in total silence.  I create slideshows at home while listening to music.  I practice my delivery with my PhotoBooth camera sitting on the living room couch.  Home.  Alone.

Thankfully, I teach.  While I’m at work, I’m communicating all of this information I’ve prepared at home in the classroom setting.  Unfortunately, I am also required to conduct office hours.  I say “unfortunately” because I must physically be present in an office.  I can’t help students while sitting in a chair in an office miles away from them.  I can’t prepare for my next class because people constantly interrupt my creative process by talking to me or each other.  I most certainly don’t grade.  Grade in the office?  Impossible.  No Talk Thursday, as Fried proposes, would be AMAZING in my line of work.

Jason Fried is the founder of 37signals.  Follow him on Twitter here.  He is the co-author of Rework, a book about succeeding in the workplace.  Read Fried’s TED biography here.

What is the culture of your office?

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