Every company is convinced they’ve unlocked the secret to productivity.
Every week I read another article about an innovative organization that has it all figured out.
They build creative incentive programs and use employee game mechanics and have real time chat tools and track goals on public dashboards and install screen monitoring software and create content filtering malware that blocks social networking websites and set work timers for fifty minutes and take breaks for exactly seventeen minutes.
It all sounds like a lot of work, ironically. People deluding themselves into thinking they can hack human performance and game the corporate environment.
But the reality is, no office will ever be productive. They can’t be. Workplaces are optimized for interruption. Nobody works at work anymore.
Unless, of course, they hire themselves. They remove all the toxic variables from the productivity equation. Because when you do the math, one hour of work as an employee is worth five hours of work as an entrepreneur.
Think about it. You don’t have pointless distractions like meetings and administrative busywork and conference calls and checkins and status reports. You don’t have infuriating interruptions like taps on the shoulder and names being yelled across the room and multiple phones ringing off the hook and endless ambient commotion. You don’t have soul crushing bureaucracy like asking permission and gaining approval and cutting through red tape and following rules. And you don’t have energy killers like putting out fires and walking on eggshells and resolving unnecessary conflict and mitigating drama.
Once you subtract that noise from the equation, all you’re left with is work that matters and a committed, happy person who can’t wait to do it.
Miyagi was right. The best way to block the punch is to not be there.
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