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Relax! You’ll Be More Productive
The most e-mailed New York Times article on Sunday, February 10, 2013 and Monday, February 11, 2013
Think for a moment about your typical workday. Do you wake up tired? Check your e-mail before you get out of bed? Skip breakfast or grab something on the run that’s not particularly nutritious? Rarely get away from your desk for lunch? Run from meeting to meeting with no time in between? Find it nearly impossible to keep up with the volume of e-mail you receive? Leave work later than you’d like, and still feel compelled to check e-mail in the evenings?
More and more of us find ourselves unable to juggle overwhelming demands and maintain a seemingly unsustainable pace. Paradoxically, the best way to get more done may be to spend more time doing less. A new and growing body of multidisciplinary research shows that strategic renewal — including daytime workouts, short afternoon naps, longer sleep hours, more time away from the office and longer, more frequent vacations — boosts productivity, job performance and, of course, health.
“More, bigger, faster.” This, the ethos of the market economies since the Industrial Revolution, is grounded in a mythical and misguided assumption — that our resources are infinite.
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I am not aware of any scientific evidence that there are cycles within 90 minute cycles. The studies I cite are indeed referenced within the blog itself. I think breaking every 20 to 25 minutes probably limits the ability to get deeply immersed in a given subject. Immersion requires some extended period of time and my own experience is that 45 to 60 minutes is about the minimum necessary to really get down deep.
@ 2013/02/21 02:54:28 PM
I am a huge fan of the lunchtime workout--getting my blood pumping in the middle of the day and a quick refreshing shower gets me all geared up for a productive afternoon and then when work is done I can go right home to spend time with the family since my workout is already done-so my mid-day work out not only keeps me productive but it also makes my day more efficient-2 birds, 1 stone
@ 2013/02/20 10:44:06 AM
I recently opened a Spa in San Diego called sanctuate!. Our 'smart' massage concept was crafted with exactly this issue in mind. We drive our bodies and minds these days to untold lengths, and the consequences will surely catch up with us, it is proven . We are thrilled that the dialogue of a culture change is taking hold. If we want to sustain our leading nation status, we must have this type of meaningful discussions about how much is too much, and how we come to celebrate balance instead of deify a work ethic that requires 24/7 lest our commitment or dedication be questioned. Our concept allows for shiatsu massage without getting undressed, greasy or oily or for ladies ruining hair or make-up. Because you can fit it anywhere in your day, it is more manageable for the crazed working person than the traditional treat. We hope to inspire employers to seek this kind of a break and see it for what it is, an investment in their assets of the highest order, the human contribution.
by Karima Zaki
@ 2013/02/13 08:12:57 PM
I read the full article in the NY Times and one of your comments in particular grabbed my attention: "Our basic idea is that the energy employees bring to their jobs is far more important in terms of the value of their work than is the number of hours they work." As a support/administrative staff person who is responsible for covering phones during business hours and responding to requests from staff, how might you suggest I apply this to my life?
@ 2013/02/13 02:50:42 PM
I happened to see your interview in CBS This morning and was very pleasantly surprised. It was refreshing to see your thoughts on productivity; I am a big proponent of "efficiency" Vs "long hours" spent at work. After working in the HR field for over 12 years I have noticed that the tenure of an individual is not exactly an indicator of their performance in the organization. Leaders often oversee "smart" workers over the associates the key in long hours. I am fascinated by your revolutionary thinking and hope more corporates embrace it thus promoting better output and balanced lifestyle. I would love to hear more about your research and experiences.
@ 2013/02/12 08:56:02 AM
The studies are referenced in the blog! I think a break every 20 to 25 minutes is fine, but that as attention gets stronger it’s probably possible to go longer...
@ 2013/02/11 05:36:22 PM
Hi Tony, I would love the reference list for this blog. You have mentioned some really interesting studies that I would be looking at exploring further. In addition, are there micro-cycles within the 90 mins of concentration. I often break for 3-4 minutes every 20-25 minutes and find this helps with my focus. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on it.
@ 2013/02/11 04:13:05 PM