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Action Tip

7 cliché-busters to help you work in peace and quiet

What’s better: reacting quickly or taking the time to plan properly? Do you work 60 minutes non-stop or 10 x 6 minutes? Have you ever shot for the moon when a handful of simple initiatives would have been enough to achieve your goal? And how often do you send work emails late at night or on the weekend? A calm company is the sum of the choices it makes: now it’s up to you to make your own.

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier-Hansson, founders of the collaborative project-management platform Basecamp, are fans of “slow working.” The duo are convinced of the benefits of calm — performance without getting hot and bothered. The two authors describe an organizational model for which the challenge isn’t to spend longer hours on the job but to squander less time. How? By cutting loose preconceived ideas that distract you from what is important and only increase stress levels. Below we spotlight seven clichés to combat.

Based on

It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier-Hansson, co-founders of Basecamp (Harper Collins, 2018).

Translated into French under the title Arrêtons de bosser comme des fous ! (Maxima, 2019).

We’re going to conquer the market!

Warlike metaphors are everywhere in a world obsessed by the idea of “dominating” markets and “targeting” consumers with messages “calibrated” to “hit the mark.” Are these metaphors really needed to “motivate the troops”? And don’t they run counter to today’s message, where it’s about building a better world rather than destroying the competition? Projecting a peaceful façade to the world while encouraging a combat zone in-house is a form of doublespeak that will soon leave your team feeling uncomfortable. One of the first steps in establishing a calm working climate is to jettison hawkish vocabulary and simply refocus on what you want to do, without overpromising or reaching for the stars. It’s a modest approach, it’s true, but one that’s honest and transparent — and certainly more engaging than a declaration of war!

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Dominique Fidel
Published by Dominique Fidel
After completing her studies in civilizations and working 10 years in corporate communications, Dominique now divides her time between popularizing science, institutional communications, literary reviews, and Business Digest.