Our fast-paced society has lengthened our 8 hour work day to what is literally or figuratively becomes a 12 hour day. We hope to get more work done, and if it didn’t get completed then we bring our work and electronics home to ‘finish’. Seems that we are trying to eek out the most productivity we can out of every day in hopes of succeeding in
1) finishing our work
2) getting noticed by the boss
3) closing the sale
4) getting more accomplished.
But do we really? Is the best way to get more done, to spend more time doing it? More and more studies say, NO!
Strategic Renewal of Energy
More research is showing that strategic renewal of energy through forms such as
- morning workout
- short afternoon naps
- longer sleeping hours
- frequent 4 day vacations
make for a more efficient and productive employee.
Americans left an average of 9.2 vacation days unused in 2012.
According to an article in the New York Times (2/10/13), “Physicists understand energy as the capacity to do more work. Like time, energy is finite; but unlike time, it is renewable”.
It seems counter-intuitive that if we take more time off, we would be more productive. But just like a child’s toy that uses batteries, if the batteries run low, the toy doesn’t work as well.
Systems Need a Break
Our bodies communicate to us that the systems need a break; fatigue and even illness are often a body’s way of demanding that we take a break. We often override those signals by ignoring them, squashing them with caffeine, OTC stimulants and power drinks, or with prescription or illegal drugs. These options may resolve the problems temporarily but for long-lasting resolve, a healthier choice must be made.
More major companies comprehend this connection. They are providing workout/yoga classes and facilities, on-site child care that allows their employees to have lunch with their children, and require that employees honor at least part of their given vacation benefits for time off.
“Using dirty energy today for faster results” as the article describes, will not achieve the long-lasting goal of creative, positive, efficient work results. Taking care of yourself allows you to provide the best service or results for your work community.