Where Are You the Most Productive?

Jason Fried is the co-founder and President of 37Signals and author of Rework. At a recent Ted Conference, he spoke on the topic of “Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work.” (Thanks to ChurchCrunch for bringing this video to my attention.)

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Jason’s presentation got me to thinking, Where am I the most productive? Big surprise: it’s not at the office. Evidently, I am not alone.

Why is this? According to Jason, it’s because of “the M&Ms.” No, not the kind you eat, silly. Nor is it because of Twitter, Facebook, or blogs—what he calls the modern equivalent of a “smoke break.” Instead, it’s because of managers and meetings. Both can interrupt your work and make it nearly impossible to do real thinking or engage in significant, creative work.

While I think Jason probably over-argues his point, I think it is worth considering his question. Where, when, and how you are the most productive? More important, how can you intentionally build more of this space into your life?

I have three times when I am the most productive:

  1. Sitting on an airplane with my laptop, my Bose headphones, and a playlist of my favorite instrumental soundtracks.
  2. Alone in my den early in the morning, with my feet propped up on my recliner, my computer in my lap, and a steaming cup of coffee at my side.
  3. On Sunday evening after a relaxing weekend, while reviewing the previous week and planning for the upcoming one.

I also try to schedule time in the office every week, where I shut my door, go offline and work on specific projects. Borrowing a phrase from Jason, I call this “The Alone Zone.”

What about you?

Question: Where are you the most productive? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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