By Nicolas Gurley
On a typical work day, do you wake up tired? Start going through your emails before you even emerge from your bed? Barely take time for a meager breakfast? Rarely make it away from the desk during your lunch break? Run from one meeting to the next? Leave work later than you had intended or hoped yet still check your emails through the evening? Well more and more of us seem to find ourselves overwhelmed by our nonstop schedules trying to keep up with an impossible pace of life. Ironically, the best way to get more done would be to spend more time doing less. An emerging body of research seems to indicate that strategic renewals, such as mid-day workouts, afternoon naps, longer night’s sleep, spending more time away from the office, all enhance work performance and productivity, and yes your health too.
Since the industrial revolution, we all seem to be stuck on the idea of “more, bigger, faster”. This modern concept of market economies is based in the unfounded belief that our resources are infinite. However, time is the most needed resource in order to get more done, yet time is finite. We invest more and more hours into work, all while trying to maintain some semblance of a life. Although increasing the number of hours in the work day is not possible, we can increase our energy. Science provides us with the information to better understand the factors at play here. Physicists define energy as our ability to do work. Like time this energy is a finite resource, however one that is renewable. Taking time off seems counterintuitive to most of us. This concept is also not congruent with the prevailing work ethics favored in large companies , where time off is considered as time wasted. More than a third of working people will eat lunch at their desks while more than half will expect to do work while on vacation. In most workplaces, those who push the hardest are usually the most rewarded yet they are not necessarily the most productive.
As logic would suggest, more time spent at work leaves less time for sleep and less sleep has negative effect on our performance. A study that was published last year that observed 400 employees, indicated that getting less than six hours of sleep a night was a significant predictor for on the job burnout. Furthermore, a recent Harvard study showed that sleep deprivation can cost companies in a America approximately $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity.
Living in a city such as New York can make it very difficult to realize how much we over tax ourselves as it seems that everyone here is on the same intense rhythm of life. This does not mean that you should burn yourself out, always working, always seemingly playing catch, never taking the time to slow down and enjoy the moment. As some studies have suggested actually taking some down time by relaxing and getting some rest would be of great benefit to your productivity as well as your mental and general health. If you feel drained and overworked by everything and would like to discuss how you can make some changes in the way you think and operate around life in the city please feel free to contract me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-525-2205 x9.
By Nicolas Gurley