From an est Staff Meeting on June 10, 1980

One of the fundamental aspects of unworkability in the world is time. That’s the first lie. That’s the first apparency. That’s the beginning of the end of the truth. Time. You need to master time to have any mastery in the world. People who are at the effect of time, people who can’t create time, people who can’t manage time, people who can’t move time around, people who can’t handle time, people who are overwhelmed by time, have no mastery and no basis for mastery. The basis for mastery in the world is being able to handle time. So what we’re talking about instead of some new problem to handle is an enormous opportunity to create a context in the space, in a sense, and in an environment of workability. And that environment’s generated out of a mastery of time.

If you attempt to take a computer approach to the control, efficacy, workability, results, viability, and getting the job done, what you wind up with is a clear statement that an organization is driven by its scheduling.  And you know about computers?  When you take a computer approach you have to break things down to the smallest possible, controllable variable.  Computers are absolutely stupid.  They have to reduce things to absolute know-ability.  There are no black boxes.  You’ve got to know what’s happening.  So a computer approach forces you to tell the truth; to look at what’s actually happening.  You’ve got to get all your attitudes out of the way and all of your leaps of faith and all of your beliefs and all of the things you thought were true and all of the things that everybody knows are true and start dealing with the basic, raw, hard, little facts.  Then you have to see the basic, stupid, simple way that those facts relate to each other.  In other words, you’ve got to get clear about it.

Now what we’ve got is a bunch of people trying to be geniuses about something that doesn’t require any genius.  We’ve been wasting people’s genius on stuff that could get handled by discipline and work.  If you’ve got any genius, you aren’t ever going to get to use it unless you can discipline yourself and work.  You know, work.

Work, it’s when you sit down or stand up and go to work.  You literally confront things and handle things.  You start at the beginning and you work your way through step-by-step until you get to the end.  That’s what work is.  You start at the beginning and you work step by step until you get to the end.  And you don’t skip steps, you don’t explain steps way, and you don’t look in your head to find out what’s so about steps.  You start at the beginning, you take every one of the steps between the beginning and end, and you stick at it.  You put your nose against the grindstone with respect to it, you stick at it, work on it until you get to the end.  You handle each one of the steps.  You don’t leave any one out.  You don’t jump over any one.  That’s how you do work.  You do work by being systematic and methodical.  And people who can discipline themselves to be systematic and methodical have enough of themselves left over to express and contribute and use their genius.

See, it’s like people are real confused about what’s going on.  All these things to do and there’s all this work to be done.  All these results to get accomplished and all these people here and all this stuff and all these plans and all these words and "Gee, I don’t …" ….   JUST GO TO WORK!  Everything will clear up.  Start disciplining yourself.  Start keeping your agreements.  Discipline yourself to keep your agreements and you go back to where you work, sit down and go to work.  That means start at the beginning, cover all the steps between the beginning and the end, do it completely, don’t mess around in your head about it.  Go to it, step by step, systematically, until you get to the end.  You will have then performed work.  Which results in productivity.  Any small amount of which will leave some room for a contribution.  Without which there is no room for contribution.  Real simple.  Get out of your head.  Cut out all that explanation about the difficulty.  And your complaints and criticisms and what we need and what we don’t need.  What we need right now is for people to go to work.



"The basis for mastery in the world is being able to handle time." Werner Erhard



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