I HAD been planning to ignore the fact that a lot of athletes seem to be gathering in London at the moment to take part in a sporting event. I don't care about racing, jumping, throwing, kicking or hitting. I remember the horror of sports day as a child on the track at Parliament Hill, with its gritty red surface and impossibly distant finish line. I always thought that one of the great things about becoming an adult was that you would never have to think about running or vaulting over horses ever again.

Only now I find that not thinking about sport isn't an option. The Olympics have colonised what I see, read, watch, how I move, what I drink and what I wash my hair with. Some of this isn't too bad: I don't really mind the fact that the Diet Coke can in front of me has five rings on one side, as I can turn it the other way and find the delicious chemical concoction inside tastes the same as ever.

I can also forgive the flags and the bunting; indeed, they are quite jolly.

What is harder to forgive is the fact that I work in a travel "hot spot" and that from Thursday, 800000 extra people will be on the Tube. Things aren't going to be any better on a bicycle: you get fined £130 if you go into one of the cursed Olympic lanes on the road, and you can't go down the Mall at all, as it's closed - apparently to help congestion.

I am starting to feel like a Jew or a Muslim at Christmas, stuck in a mammoth celebration for which everything stops but where I have no affinity for the baby Jesus - or for the super-muscled men and women in Lycra. At least Christmas lasts for only a few days. The Olympics last for a month.

Even in the safety of my office, it's no better. My inbox is filled with messages from management thinkers offering platitudinous lessons that business can learn from athletes. One suggests that leaders go for gold. Another that business should strive to be faster, stronger, higher.

The only piece of research that has caught my fancy was something in the journal, Psychological Science, saying that sportsmen can boost performance by wearing a lucky pair of underpants. If true, this is invaluable advice for us all.

As it seems impossible to stick to my initial aim of ignoring this giant, global sports day (or month), I've decided to come up with my own Olympics lessons for business.

This is easier said than done, as there is only one thing that business can learn from athletes: being rich helps. More than half of the British team at the Beijing Olympics went to private schools, which proves that with sport, as with everything else, some heavy-duty investment gives you a great head start.

Otherwise, a key lesson seems to be that to stage this festival of sporting competitiveness every other sort of competition is being stifled. Never before in a free-market economy have I seen people being told that they can pay only with Visa, or can only eat McDonald's French fries.

The Olympics also show that where there is no competition there is no freedom of speech, and bureaucracy triumphs.

There was the restaurant that had to remove the O from its name and call itself Lympic instead. Less well known is the fact that all sponsors have had to get International Olympic Committee approval - a process that takes three or four weeks - for every tweet they send out. I know one person who has submitted 2000 tweets covering every eventuality, and so this week will be able to start tweeting with impunity such things as, "Having a great time in Olympic Village despite the rain!" or "The sun is shining down on a lot of happy people in Olympic Village!!"

Above all, the games prove beyond doubt that sport and work are mutually exclusive activities.

School sports days used to mean that parents take a morning or an afternoon off.

But this global Olympic sports day is going to mean that thousands of workers in London will be prevented from going to the office for weeks.

Last week, a radio journalist phoned up to ask whether I would go on his show to say that the Olympics would prove the wonders of flexible working, establishing beyond doubt the office of the future is at home.

I declined, as I'm quite confident that it will prove the reverse.

When the games are over, people will realise once and for all that having a city where they can move about freely and get into work on time really is something to celebrate.

© 2012 The Financial Times Limited