Workaholics aren’t heroes

Jason Fried is the CEO of Basecamp and the author of the recently released It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work (which I highly recommend). I just finished listening to a podcast interview with him where he shared this gem:

“Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is home because she figured out a faster way.”

The real measure of your work is what you have to show for it, not how many hours you worked for it. Fried isn’t advocating relaxing on the job. In fact, he’s relentless about putting the quality of the finished work first. He eliminates distractions for himself and his employees, gives them the time and quiet space to get work done, and then sends everyone home after a good day’s work so they can be fresh, rested, and ready to produce more great work the next day.

Celebrating how busy you are just invites more busyness. And busyness almost never leads to great work.