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Working more doesn’t mean getting more done #productivity

Studies show that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours and drops off altogether after 55 hours. So why are you knocking yourself out?


Work less and do more

“You can only do so much.” I don’t know where I heard that and I’m not sure what it was directed at, but certainly it is apropos when talking about how many hours you put in at the office.

A recent Stanford University study found that “Productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that there’s no point in working anymore.”

So whoever is convinced that successful people are the ones that work as much as 70 hours (or more) per week may be a bit misinformed. These folks may bank that many hours in the office but in reality they are probably getting the same amount done as people who work 50-55 hours.

Pulling back

Perhaps it’s a generational thing. Maybe the Gen X’ers and millennials are more tuned in to the work-life balance. I don’t buy into the statistics about successful people working 70 or more hours per week. But I am convinced that successful people know the importance of shifting gears in the evenings or on the weekend so they can relax and rejuvenate.

Unplug and unwind

A recent article on Entrepreneur maps out some common strategies to consider that, at the very least, will allow you to recharge on the weekends and come roaring back to work on Mondays. I won’t go in to each nook and cranny but the gist of the article is that you need to disconnect from work and leave time for yourself to do something else not work-related.

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That may be difficult for some of you. But think about it: If you turn off your iPhone or close your laptop for a few hours what will actually happen? At best NOTHING, and at worst you’ll receive some messages for missed called or emails. You can’t refocus and recharge if you are making yourself available to your work 24/7. All that does is set you up for a non-stop influx of stress.

Plan ahead for easy execution

The weekend is an ideal time to map out the week that lies ahead. If that’s too much of a chunk to wrap yourself around than take a few minutes the night before and plan for the next day. An article on Talent Smart explains that “The more you plan, even if it’s just a few minutes, the more you will see significant gains in productivity and reduced stress.”

When there are no surprises your day/week will feel a lot more manageable. Why? Because all you have to do is focus on is execution.


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Written By

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

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