Nov 15, 2013

Get Out Of Work To Do Work

Do you have days when you walk across the threshold to your office and every ounce of creativity ... and motivation ... is drained from your soul, like the hand of death has scorched the right side of your brain?

Yeah, me too.

Here's an interesting and much overlooked reality pointed out by Jason Fried, a fellow contributor to Inc Magazine:  real work doesn't get done at work.  He goes on to describe the conundrum many of us face each day during a TED talk, which I have included below.  If any of this is hitting a nerve with you thus far, check it out.


Now, I can attest that my best think times rarely happen whilst standing in front of my computer, amid the countless distractions of the work day.  I do, in fact, try to spend at least a couple of mornings every week at Starbucks, where I can jack up the caffeine input while quietly sitting and planning.  Music inevitably is included with this ritual, one of the few times music substitutes for podcasts or the news.

The office can be such a distraction at times that I have had my best personal brainstorming sessions as far away from the office as imaginable, such as in the solitude of an airplane or in an airport lounge.  These settings not only allow for complete alone time (minus a chatty seat mate), but it stimulates a travel passion that I rarely get to enjoy these days.

And there are often free cocktails, which help ... a lot.

When you can't get out of the office, Jason makes an absolutely brilliant recommendation to improve the environment in the office:
Dedicate a day of the week (or half day), once a month, to complete silence
I say dedicate a couple of days a week ... every week ... but who am I kidding?

So, consider this next time you need to spark your creativity.
Get out of the office.
Find a quiet, secluded area.
Turn off communications.
Then ... just think.

A few cocktails help as well!  Enjoy!