The “work hard, play hard” attitude has infiltrated American sportswear and music. And it can also be applied to our attitudes about the balance between our professional and personal lives.
A study from Stanford University examined the effect of working long hours on productivity. The results may surprise you: Employees who regularly worked more than 50 hours per week developing software, experienced steadily diminishing returns in productivity. In fact, working more than 55 hours per week reduced productivity so much that no additional work was accomplished.
These results confirm what industry has known for years. After a certain point, productivity declines as the amount of work increases. Working more than 40 or 50 hours per week appears to sustain a long-term decline in productivity, with output at higher levels actually dropping below the measured output at the 40-50 hour mark!
So as business owners and managers, how can we combat these natural human tendencies? Simple. We need to refresh ourselves on the weekends and encourage our employees to do the same. Even consider building policies that require time off into your employment manual and training procedures. We can help you with that when you are ready.
Implement these strategies to gain productivity by making the most of your weekends and days off:
- Truly disconnect from work – entirely or in large chunks of time – by not checking email and messages;
- Honor your body’s circadian rhythm and battle fatigue by staying on your normal schedule, especially with regard to waking times;
- Tend to your body’s physical and mental needs by exercising to reduce stress;
- Exercise your mental muscle by reflecting on industry issues and the role of your business in the industry;
- Build your support systems by spending quality time with your family, friends, and other loved ones; and
- Spend a small amount of time planning ahead for the next week so you can focus on executing the plan earlier in the week rather than getting bogged down in the planning process.
By caring for the well-being and health of yourself and your team, your business will prosper and you can count on its continued success for life and beyond, even when that requires pivots, turns and shifts in your business model or industry along the way. We can proactively support you at each twist and turn.
This article is a service of Gratia P. Schoemakers, Creative Business Lawyer® One of our primary services is a LIFT Start-Up Session,™ in which we guide you through the right choice of business entity, location of business entity, start up agreements, intellectual property protection, employment structuring, insurance, financial and tax systems you need to start your next business and succeed right out of the gate. Call us today to schedule a time to get started!