Real work doesn’t look like “work.”
The working world has changed, but it seems like very few people have noticed.
Our standard work practices were developed for an industrial age, not an information economy.
While things have started to change – more flexibility in work hours and locations, more entrepreneurs, freelancers, and side hustlers – that change has yet to make much of a mark in how people perceive their own jobs and responsibilities on a day-to-day basis.
For me, what looks like traditional “work” tends to be the least productive part of my day, while the most productive parts of my day are the things that may not seem like “work” at all.
Getting “lost on the Internet,” as I like to call the hours I spend each day surfing far corners of the web, is way more valuable than time spent sitting in meetings.
Working outside the office is always more productive than working inside it.
And most importantly, time spent learning and absorbing new ideas (
even especially seemingly unrelated ones) delivers bigger results than trying to solve problems by committee or simply doing what’s always been done.
I was asked recently how I know the things I know about digital media- after all, none of this was around when I was in school and most of it wasn’t even around six months ago.
Here’s my secret – I don’t let my “work” get in the way of my WORK.
I carve out time to explore whatever I need to explore to learn the things I need to know – and even things I may not need to know.
I’ve come to understand my job isn’t what’s in my job description. My real job is to stay at least a year ahead of the people that aren’t paying attention.
But in fairness to them, they probably don’t pay attention because they’re too busy doing their “work.”