Jason Fried

Jason Fried quotes on focus

Founder & CEO at Basecamp. Non-serial entrepreneur. Co-author of Getting Real, REWORK, Remote, and “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work”.

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Productivity is for machines, not for people. There’s nothing meaningful about packing some number of work units into some amount of time, or squeezing more into less. Think about how effective you’re being, not how productive you’re being.


Top skill for entrepreneurs: Being great at ignoring what everyone else is doing.


Ideas are never in short supply, focus is.


People don't have short attention spans. They have short interest spans. If they're interested, they'll give you their full attention.


Humans don’t have short or long attention spans. They have attention spans commensurate with their motivations. If you don’t care about something then you have a short attention span. But care about it? You’ll make/find all the time in the world.


“No” is no to one thing. “Yes” is no to a lot of things.


If you like saying yes, get better at saying no. No gives you more opportunities to say yes to the things you really want to do/make/try/explore/discover.


Busting your ass doing what doesn’t need to be done isn’t a strong work ethic - it’s a strong waste of time.


The best way to get things done is to have fewer things to do.


If you’ve only got 3 hours of work to do on a given day, then stop. Don’t find 5 more to fill your day, just to stay busy or feel productive. Never feel bad about being done with something.


It’s not about time management, it’s about obligation elimination.


“No” is your most powerful app. Launch it often.


It’s not about knowing your limits. It’s about knowing your interests. Being very clear with yourself about what you *don’t* want. I often put more energy into preventing things I don’t want to happen from happening, than I do encouraging things I want to happen to happen.


So much product development time is spent undoing complexity that should have been left out in the first place.


“No” is no to one thing. “Yes” is no to a lot of things.


Yes is easier to say, but no is easier to do.


When you think of your attention like you think of your money, you’ll make better choices about what’s worth ‘paying’ for.


Practice saying no. “Productivity tips, tricks, and hacks” are all about managing what happens when you say yes to too many things…


People get busy when they focus on productivity. Staying busy is staying occupied. I don’t think being occupied is something to strive for. Being effective is about finding more of your time unoccupied and open for other things.


Some of the best “hard work” you can do is figuring our your priorities, and making tough calls about what’s not worth doing.


Want to get more done? Give yourself less time to do it. Works every time.


“Push Notifications” are a lie. They’re “Pull Notifications”. They don’t push you away, they pull you in.


Procrastination isn't your enemy, it's a useful tool to squeeze out the stuff that doesn't matter and focus on the stuff that does.


Employee benefit of the future: “Fewer than 10 notifications a day”


Employee benefit of the future: 7 out of 8 hours a day are 100% you time.


Know what you’ll say no to.

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