Be more productive: The joy of missing out (JOMO)

Introducing the joy of missing out (JOMO)

Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp, talks about the benefits of reducing your capacity to be interrupted by not having instant messenger and chat apps turned on.

Image of a workplace with the phrase 'punch today in the face' on the wall
Punch today in the face

I mean, look, real-time communication, for example, is handy sometimes. When there’s really a crisis or whatever and you really need to hash something out, fine. It’s just that when you have to follow a dozen real-time conversations all day long, that’s broken. That’s just broken. That’s like, the fear of missing out. We have what we call JOMO, the joy of missing out at Basecamp. We want people to miss out. I want you just to focus on your work. You don’t need to pay attention to a million things that are going on at once, right?

Continual interruptions, no matter the source, have a negative impact your enjoyment of your work and the quality of what you produce.

And something else happens over here and they’ve gotta jump over here. Now they’ve stopped the flow, and they’re over here now responding to something one line at a time coming back, a new …

My experience is that constant interruptions from chat, email, and phone calls prevent you from doing what you are trying to do. It impacts your level of focus and engagement with your work, impacting the quality of what you produce.

In one of my previous roles, I managed a team spread across six time zones. I adjusted my day up and down to connect with each of my team. But most of my day I was the only member of the team working. Wow, did this allow me to produce some great work! I was productive because for 5 to 6 hours of the day there were no emails, chats, or messages. No interruptions! I could start work on my projects or clear ticketed design work from our workflow system.

Let’s just do our best work. We should be doing our best work anyway, so let’s just do that.

Jason Fried speaking with Recode’s Kara Swisher

I am a big believer in JOMO. It helps my teams and me to produce better work – which is what it’s meant to be about anyway.

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