18 June 2009

Re-thinking Work


This is where I had my cup of coffee this morning. Where did you? Click here to see a bigger version of the panoramic shot.
Few things need to be re-thought


A few things need to be re-thought. Of course, I believe absolutely everything needs to be re-thought constantly, but specifically, the concept of an effective working day.

Work as a word comes with a package. It’s a question of status, livelihood, pride or shame and a large part of our life in hours. It is something that should start either 8 or 9 o’clock in the morning and take our time until the early evening. If this criteria isn’t met, it does sound suspicious. But even more suspicious it is should some part of the working process take place in an unusual location. Outside the office or wherever one is expected to sit nicely for all those hours every day. We the people have adopted these rules of work and even if we had a chance, which not everyone does, we would guard our own jail door with a vigilance of the worst prison warden with one unquestioned mission in mind: must look like I am doing something and then, almost definitely, I am.

Ok, maybe some of these words are a bit strong and for most people, there isn’t really a choice where to be when the work takes place. Many probably don’t even care. They just clock in and grind out. Also, for most people, there might not be anywhere nice nearby where they could come up with better ideas. I, however, am lucky enough to have plenty.


Cape Town is a big city that combines urban and natural within a smallish area. The mountain and all the beaches are accessible especially if you have a car and a bit of time. There’s some of the most amazing places up there on the hill and I can see our house from there. That’s how close they are.

So, today we decided to have a strategising meeting up the mountain. Or somewhere on the way to the top. To have a nice cup of coffee in the most amazing natural environment in quietness while watching down to the buzzing highways of the city and the stressball that is the city centre. It’s a healthy exercise. In order to see, one needs to metaphorically take a step back and look at the context and the bigger picture. This is exactly what you can do up here not only as a figure of speech but also literally. The active hiking reduces your stress and uses the energy in things other than frustration should that be the case otherwise. It leaves you with you, the nature and your ideas.


It’s pretty great. I feel we had a very productive meeting in the most positive atmosphere, and enjoyed a very refreshing cup of coffee from the flask and took in the winds of the two oceans. It’s easier to think outside of the box when you step out of it. Isn’t Cape Town great sometimes.




Amkelwa on our coffee break. Notice the new hair do.


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