Be Excellent By Working Less In a recent Opinion Ed at NYTimes, Relax! You'll Be More Productive, Tony Schwartz author of “Be Excellent at Anything” recounts the research proving over and over that performance is tied to rejuvenation and humans are "meant to pulse between spending and recovering energy."
Here are a few of the stats:
GET MORE SLEEP
- 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.
- Stanford researcher Cheri D. Mah found that when she got male basketball players to sleep 10 hours a night, their performances in practice dramatically improved: free-throw and three-point shooting each increased by an average of 9 percent.
- In 2006, the accounting firm Ernst & Young did an internal study of its employees and found that for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their year-end performance ratings from supervisors (on a scale of one to five) improved by 8 percent. Frequent vacationers were also significantly less likely to leave the firm.
WORK In 90 MINUTE INTERVALS
- Professor K. Anders Ericsson and his colleagues at Florida State University have studied elite performers, including musicians, athletes, actors and chess players. In each of these fields, Dr. Ericsson found that the best performers typically practice in uninterrupted sessions that last no more than 90 minutes. They begin in the morning, take a break between sessions, and rarely work for more than four and a half hours in any given day.
To this I'll add one additional suggestion.