I thought this Tweet yesterday defined work in the 21st century:

“Old model = Work was finished when it left the building
New model = Work begins when it leaves the building” – Derek Blais

Work is a bunch of meetings plus email. You don’t actually get real work done until you step away from the office.

It used to be that you had at least a few hours at work to focus in between meetings. But that time is mostly replaced by constant bombardments of email, instant messages, calls, and face to face interruptions. Someone always needs something from you.

We need to reevaluate the way we collaborate by first slowing it down a bit. Very few things require such immediacy. We’ve all acquiesced to a culture of unnecessary hyper-speed, driven to emulate the speed of our computers.

Humans are animals, not machines, no matter what tech companies like Apple and Google are trying to do with wearable technology to convince otherwise.

We’re always on. The biggest challenge we face today is knowing how and when to turn it all off so we can do the real work.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.