Finally a good reason to stop working so hard

Do you boast that you are the first to arrive and the last to leave? Your productivity would increase if you spent less time on the job and more time sleeping.
Woman working late at night Getty images

There were good reasons behind the introduction of modern labour laws. Enacted to protect workers from exploitation by companies, they forever changed the way in which we live and think.

Time, however, has a way of eroding memories. Where once poverty, absence of choice and circumstance drove workers to choose their jobs over their lives, today, ironically, it’s success, opportunity and self-sabotage that compels us to do the same.

But who or what is there that will protect us from ourselves?

A recent article in The New York Times shines a welcome spotlight on the serious and widespread problem of people for whom the 40-hour-work week is a quaint artifact, pointing the finger at those of us who routinely forego breaks and eat lunch at our desks, who view taking holidays as proof of laziness, and who would rather work than sleep.

You may think you’re achieving career greatness by skipping vacations, working weekends and sitting hunched over your desk until late at night but you’re wrong. According to a number of studies cited by The New York Times, when it comes to work-- performance and productivity -- less is definitely more.

So while you may boast that you are the first to arrive and the last to leave, your productivity levels would probably enjoy a dramatic boost if you were to spend less time on the job and more time sleeping. If you’re getting less than six hours of sleep a night says a Harvard study mentioned in the Times piece then you are in need of rest and “renewal” the power of which, can’t be underestimated.


Better you should take a nap then spend one more minute staring at that computer screen. Rest, reflect and build a little diversity into your life -- remember, all work and no play is a very dull proposition.


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