We all want to improve our productivity. Believe it or not, it appears one of the simplest ways to do so is to work less. "What," you are probably thinking, "How can I improve my productivity by working less?" Recent studies suggest just that: working less hours a day and taking more vacations can increase your productivity.
In an article in The New York Times today, "Relax! You'll Be More Productive," author Tony Schwartz discusses a number of those studies that show that you can increase your output by taking a nap and taking more vacations.
The theory behind those studies is that you are less productive if you use up too much energy. In other words, if you are tired, you are likely to take longer to perform a given task. In addition, you are likely to be less mentally alert as you are working. Napping or vacationing gives you the opportunity to recharge your battery.
Most intriguing is the study cited by Professor K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University. In that study, Professor Ericsson concluded that those persons who were most productive worked in 90 minute cycles. They would work for 90 minutes, followed by a break. In all, they would work no more than four and one half hours a day. The rest of the work day was spent napping, exercising or meditating.
If this sounds interesting, you can review the entire article by Mr. Schwartz at www.nytimes.com.