Book Review – ReWork by Jason Fried

ReWorkReWork by Jason Fried is all about modern business practices. How to work smarter with less. How to get more from your people.

I knew I’d like the book and I wasn’t disappointed.

His company, 37 Signals has created Basecamp the project management tool my graduates use on client projects. I also use HighriseHQ as my Contact Management solution.

It is very easy to read, divided into small sections each making you think about the way you work.

I’ve focused on a number of sections that resonate with me and hopefully with anyone that reads my blogs.

ReWork by Jason Fried

1. “Planning is guessing”

If you call your plans and forecasts “guesses” then you’d spend less time working on them

If you call your plans and forecasts “guesses” then you’d spend less time working on them. I’d concur with their take on things, however I’d suggest you can only take such a laissez faire approach if you have formed a sound judgement and your thinking is continually one step ahead.

I compare the 5 year plan I recently created for a client with my own planning which is never more than 3 months in any detail. I don’t see the client has any better information for decision making than I have.

2. “No time is no excuse”

There’s always enough time if you spend it right

There’s always enough time if you spend it right. As a boss it may be having staff with the right mix of skills to pass work to or perhaps knowing when to delegate. Perhaps its knowing how to manage difficult customers and not being a busy fool.

In many cases its spending a bit of time reviewing activity instead of continually being involved in the “doing”. We all have the same 24 hours each day, it’s how we choose to use it.

3. “Focus on what won’t change”

The core of your business should be built around things that won’t change

The core of your business should be built around things that won’t change. Chasing the latest trend puts fashion ahead of substance. Customers need to know what you stand for, deep down, which are the things that don’t change.

4. “Meetings are toxic”

The worst interruptions of all are meetings

The worst interruptions of all are meetings. They take a large number of people out of their workflow. If the meeting is not properly planned beforehand and participants drift off topic, it can drag on for hours.

Worst of all, many are scheduled to happen at the same time every week or month.

Could the same information sharing or discussion have taken place through other forms which didn’t require everyone to give up a large part of their day?

5. “Hire when it hurts”

Don’t hire for pleasure; hire to kill pain

Don’t hire for pleasure; hire to kill pain. I only get contacted to provide help when there is a big immediate problem to solve.

An established business will have a number of employees who between them aren’t able to provide all the necessary skills. Perhaps the company has grown and allowed gaps to appear – areas which get covered off by the owner or hired in help.

When someone leaves, don’t do a straight replacement. The existing staff may be happy to cover that persons role but in doing so may leave new gaps to be covered. Perhaps a part time person is all you need? Perhaps it could be a University placement or graduate, cheaper than the original employee?

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