To be at your peak, don’t work so much. Internet Explorer 9 new year vacation essay earlier. Go to the home page to see the latest top stories. Edi
To be at your peak, don’t work so much. Internet Explorer 9 new year vacation essay earlier. Go to the home page to see the latest top stories.
Editors’ note: We’re resurfacing this story from the archives because who doesn’t want to be more productive? 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. This, the ethos of the market economies since the Industrial Revolution, is grounded in a mythical and misguided assumption — that our resources are infinite. Time is the resource on which we’ve relied to get more accomplished.
When there’s more to do, we invest more hours. But time is finite, and many of us feel we’re running out, that we’re investing as many hours as we can while trying to retain some semblance of a life outside work. Although many of us can’t increase the working hours in the day, we can measurably increase our energy. Science supplies a useful way to understand the forces at play here. Physicists understand energy as the capacity to do work.
Taking more time off is counterintuitive for most of us. The idea is also at odds with the prevailing work ethic in most companies, where downtime is typically viewed as time wasted. More than 50 percent assume they’ll work during their vacations. In most workplaces, rewards still accrue to those who push the hardest and most continuously over time.
But that doesn’t mean they’re the most productive. Spending more hours at work often leads to less time for sleep and insufficient sleep takes a substantial toll on performance. In a study of nearly 400 employees, published last year, researchers found that sleeping too little — defined as less than six hours each night — was one of the best predictors of on-the-job burn-out. 2 billion a year in lost productivity. The Stanford researcher Cheri D. Daytime naps have a similar effect on performance.
Longer naps have an even more profound impact than shorter ones. MORE vacations are similarly beneficial. More articles about Earnst and Young. Frequent vacationers were also significantly less likely to leave the firm. Please verify you’re not a robot by clicking the box.
You must select a newsletter to subscribe to. You agree to receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times’s products and services. You are already subscribed to this email. View all New York Times newsletters. As athletes understand especially well, the greater the performance demand, the greater the need for renewal. When we’re under pressure, however, most of us experience the opposite impulse: to push harder rather than rest.
2012 — up from 6. The importance of restoration is rooted in our physiology. Human beings aren’t designed to expend energy continuously. Rather, we’re meant to pulse between spending and recovering energy.
In the 1950s, the researchers William Dement and Nathaniel Kleitman discovered that we sleep in cycles of roughly 90 minutes, moving from light to deep sleep and back out again. They named this pattern the Basic-Rest Activity Cycle or BRAC. A decade later, Professor Kleitman discovered that this cycle recapitulates itself during our waking lives. The difference is that during the day we move from a state of alertness progressively into physiological fatigue approximately every 90 minutes. In-depth reference and news articles about Cortisol level. Working in 90-minute intervals turns out to be a prescription for maximizing productivity.