Jason Fried

Jason Fried quotes on work

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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If your company requires you to work nights and weekends, your company is broken. This is a managerial problem, not your problem. This is a process problem, not a personal problem. This is an ownership problem, not an individual problem.


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.


Giving out equity in startups benefits ownership way more than employees. It allows the owners to push employees harder and harder because “you’ve got skin in the game now… you’re an owner.” No you aren’t. Owning less than 1% of anything isn’t ownership.


Working more than 40 hours a week doesn’t mean you’re working hard. It just means you are working more than 40 hours a week.


People are plenty productive. It's systems that aren't. It's the process, the methods, the overbearing oversight, the absence of trust, the incessant checking-in, the lack of contiguous time, and the red tape that bog things down, not the people doing the work itself.


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.


There's an epidemic of interruption out there. No wonder people have to put in 60+ hours a week just to get 40 hours worth of work done.


Perspective comes from zooming out. Insight comes from zooming in. They’re both enhanced by zoning out for a while.


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.


Best way to run a bunch of stuff? Don’t put yourself in charge of everything.


Work ethic has a lot more to do with showing up on time and being reliable than it does working 80 hours.


The tragedy of 60/hr work weeks is that if you just had 5 hours in a row to yourself every day, you'd get more work done in those 25.


For those who think more hours are the answer, remember that incompetence only takes a few minutes.


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


“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.“ -Lao Tzu


Time to redefine what it means to give employees *options*. How about the option to work 40 hours and not be penalized when promotions come up? Or the option to not be bothered all day long? Or the option to cut a project back instead of working weekends? Or the option to…


People often assume there’s more work to do in the early days of starting a biz vs later on. “So you must have worked nights/weekends at the start.” Not true. There’s *always* more work to do than you have time to do it. It’s just different work, not more or less work.


Get interrupted all night, bad night’s sleep. So if you’re interrupted all day, how can you expect to get a good day’s work?


When you rush at the end, it’s not the end’s fault, it’s the beginning and middle’s fault.


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.


To those who equate “hard work” with lots of hours worked, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Quantity isn’t related to quality.


Work pays you, but it costs you too.


“Easy” is a word used to describe other people’s jobs.


Take sleep as seriously as you take work.


One of the things a company should do best is protect and preserve their employee’s time and attention. Truly scarce resources.


When companies talk about burn rates, know two things are burning: Money & people. One you’re burning up, one you’re burning out.


Every business is a lifestyle business. Some just have no life outside of business because they work 80 hours a week. That’s a lifestyle too.


When your in a high pressure situation, the top thing to remember is: Be kind. Kindness is often the first thing to go, but it's critical.


Employee benefit of the future: Get paid to sleep a full 8 hours a night.


You have to make progress to keep making progress.


Benefits designed to keep you at the office longer aren’t benefits, they’re detriments. Which detriments does your company offer?


When you’re forced to work the weekend, the following Monday is the eighth day of last week, not the first day of next week.


What’s worse is when someone can’t leave a city because their job locks them down. They want to exchange something broken for something that works for them, but the “terms of service” at work don’t allow it. That’s one reason why remote work is so attractive.


Workplace cultures in politics & tech share many similarities: Overwork is glorified; long hours are the norm; communication comes with the expectation of immediate response; and those that opt out are seen as lacking hustle or ceding ground to competitors…


Anything can be more work than you think, or less work than you think. It all comes down to trade-offs, limits, and how you scope work.


I’m not on a journey. I try to do my best work, live a good life, and take care of my family. I’m alive, but I’m not on a journey.


“You’re lucky you’re only 50 people… We’re 300, we could never work that way.” We’re 50 on purpose, we could be 300 too.


I’m not busy, I'm working.


Hair on fire is not normal. It’s crazy at the office is not normal. I have no time is not normal. Notification overload is not normal…


Employee benefit of the future: Bonuses for not responding to work stuff on the weekends.


Some people who love their job will say “my job doesn’t feel like work.” I’ve always found it odd to suggest work should feel bad, and that it’s a good thing to avoid something that “feels like work”. For me, “I love that my job feels like work”. Doesn’t mean I love every day.


80 hour weeks make room for waste, not work.


…just trust yourself and do your thing.


You know what it’s called when your job doesn’t feel like work? It’s called not working! And hopefully you feel that every single day after you’ve put in about 8 hours of actual work!


Do you work for a company, or do you work for a financial instrument?


If it was the hours that mattered, there’d be no disruption. Big companies have way more hours to spend than a few people in a garage.


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


I think better when I’m walking, I write better when I’m sitting, and I plow through minutia best when I’m standing.


If you’re not sure how much you’re working, ask those around you. Your friends and family know the answer.

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