One of my projects required one week of reading, thinking and writing. Doing the work at the office wasn’t an option because of all the interuptions and distractions of an ordinary work day.
– ”I’ll be working out of the office”, I told my collegues and brought the computer and all files. And left for New York to do a week of ”härarbete” (working here).
By maintaining the Swedish time zone, I could do a couple of hours of the small tasks that would break my focus on an ordinary work day. And best of all, I could do them from bed as I set my wake up alarm to 5 am. When the office in Sweden closed I took my computer and found places around the city that both inspired me and allowed me to work for longer stretches of time, as the Staten Island Ferry, the upper floor of a cambodian restaurant of my favourite – the Rose Main Reading room at the New York Public Library.
I also managed to meet a lot of interesting and inspiring people during the week, both from within and outside of the advertising world.
It’s really rare to get this much continuous time for reading and reflecting. Especially at the office with all the planned meetings and way too many ”hey, could you…” things.
Hey people, let’s do more ”härarbeta” and work out of the office. You don’t need to travel 4000 miles to find your focus. But why not try to work from home for a day, or go for a few days to work from your summer house? We all have somewhere we can go to find the focus and at the same time be inspired.
The TED talk by Jason Fried that inspired me:
And the book Härarbete (Swedish only) by Teo Härén: