Let's admit, workaholics are not the most productive people in the world. Long working hours do not guarantee proportionately higher results.
Professor of Economics John Pencavel found that productivity per hour declines sharply when a person works more than 50 hours a week. After 55 hours, productivity drops so much that putting in any more hours would be pointless. And, those who work up to 70 hours a week are only getting the same amount of work done as those who put in the 55 hours.
At work, as in sports, people just get tired. And fatigue does not lead to better results.
There are areas where people are proud of their long working hours. They even compete with colleagues who work longer. Others are not that proud and ask employers to reduce the working week to 80 hours (ping Goldman Sachs)…
Been there, done that.
There were times when I too worked 80 or more hours a week. There is no point in even talking about the quality of life then. On the other hand, I did not think about the quality of work too much as well. Just thought that more is better.
By the way, a lot of working hours does not harm one's career. Quite the opposite. Let us acknowledge that image is also important here. Long hours do help with the image quite a lot.
Helped me as well, by the way.
These days I still don’t want to work just 9-to-5, but I do clearly understand that not all hours are equal!
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Stress is simply inevitable in the lives of CxOs, entrepreneurs, and people who want to achieve a lot in any activity. Here I'm speaking from my personal experience first and foremost.
Managed stress allows you to achieve high productivity, but if unmanaged - it leads to burnout and a whole bunch of other problems. Again, personal experience.
Since I am constantly striving for the highest possible productivity, and would not want to burn-out again, I pay a lot of attention to the topic of stress management. At the same time, I think this is very relevant for many others as well.
Dealing with stress is hard. Cannot deny that.
On the other hand, the main principles are fairly simple - sports, sleep, nutrition, and recreation.
Anyone can (and should) become better at dealing with stress. I can't help but emphasize the analogy with sports that I like so much:
In sports, the main progress does not occur during hard workouts, but rather because of proper recovery. Well - rest, sleep, nutrition. Then proper recovery can lead to even better results. And so the cycle repeats.
Isn’t it the same with stress? I would say YES!
Really interesting hearing a historian talking about the future while he warns us about the dark side of big data at a Google talk.
How would you predict the future for your specialism?