Inside the Psychology of Productivity: Burned out? Can’t get it all done? The problem might be in your head.
By Leigh Buchanan
Tagged with: #earnlivefun #vacation #retimement #leadership #entrepreneur #leadershipcoaching
It is so important to schedule “having fun” in your life. Listen up entrepreneurs! It is a necessity not an indulgence. Are you and your employees getting the down time needed to perform optimally at work? “Entrepreneurs may succumb to this sort of procrastination when it comes to reading to the kids or taking vacations–activities you know are good for you but that, on some subconscious level, seem self-indulgent when compared with work. Here too the present self cheats the future self, as insufficient sleep and leisure affects performance.”
You wake up with it in the morning and go to bed thinking about it at night: an ever-crushing load of emails, meetings, conference calls, and tasks that needed to get done yesterday. Family time means reading sales reports in the room where your kids are playing video games. For entrepreneurs, there’s soooo much to get done–85 percent of fast-growth-company CEOs work 10 or more hours a day, according to a recent survey of the Inc. 500. Under such circumstances, personal productivity isn’t just a metric. It’s also a mandate.
Five Clever Ways Companies Are Helping Employees Fight Burnout
“Most of us would feel too guilty to even take two weeks off, if it weren’t pre-planned for us,” TED Media executive producer June Cohen told Fast Company. “This creates an enforced rest period, which is so important for both productivity and happiness.” Leading companies know and research/science validate that down time is good for our well being and being more productive, creative and innovative.
For the overworked modern American employee, the policies and perks offered by some of the most generous companies sound like manna from the corporate gods. Onsite climbing walls. Free housekeeping. Chef-catered meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Yet however nice such benefits may be, they can also end up acting as subtle ways to get employees to work more. It saves time and stress to have a company dry cleaner, free gourmet snacks and made-to-order mochas down the hall or access to a health clinic on the corporate campus. Still, there’s an implied message: “We’ll provide you everything here onsite, so you never really have to leave.”
What Millennials Want From Work, Charted Across the World
By Henrik Bresman, hbr.org
February 23, 2015
Tagged with: #work-life balance, #work-life integration #retimement #earnlivefun
“Work-life balance doesn’t mean the same thing to all. Millennials strive for work-life balance, but this tends to mean work-me balance, not work-family balance. They want time for themselves and space for their own self-expression. Overall, the dominant definition was “enough leisure time for my private life” (57%), followed by “flexible work hours” (45%) and “recognition and respect for employees” (45%).”
As more Millennials assume leadership positions around the world, organizations are becoming increasingly concerned with how to ensure their success. However, most existing research on those born between the early ‘80s and late ‘90s is skewed toward understanding what a narrow, typically Western, population wants. Conclusions based on such a limited sample could lead to bad decisions (and missed opportunities) around attracting, retaining, and developing millennial leaders in a global business environment.
Leisure is the New Productivity
(CNN) What if I hadn’t worked so hard? What if . . . I had actually used . . . my position to be a role model for balance? Had I done so intentionally, who’s to say that, besides having more time with my family, I wouldn’t also have been even more focused at work? More creative? More productive? It took inoperable late stage brain cancer to get me to examine things from this angle. –Eugene O’Kelly, former CEO, KPMG
While working on “The Last Supper,” Leonardo da Vinci regularly took off from painting for several hours at a time and seemed to be daydreaming aimlessly. Urged by his patron, the prior of Santa Maria delle Grazie, to work more continuously, da Vinci is reported to have replied, immodestly but accurately, “The greatest geniuses sometimes accomplish more when they work less.” –Tony Schwartz, “Be Excellent at Anything”
In his 1932 classic essay, “In Praise of Idleness,” Bertrand Russell heralded a coming time when modern technology would bring shorter work hours and time for leisure to be enjoyed equally by everyone.
Companies Deal With Employees Who Refuse to Take Time Off by Requiring Vacations, Paying Them to Go
Evernote Gives Employees $1,000 to Disconnect From Work for a Week or More; Full Contact Offers $7,500 a Year
Most offices have at least one—the die-hard who refuses to take a vacation.
The ill effects of refusing to go on vacation, documented in research, include fatigue, poor morale, heart problems and reduced productivity. Some 15% of U.S. employees who are entitled to paid vacation time haven’t used any of it in the past year, according to a March survey of 952 employees for the job and career site Glassdoor.
Vacation resistors cause problems for the entire office. Often they refuse to delegate duties, and they make colleagues feel guilty.
Being Happy at Work Matters
By Annie McKee, hbr.org
November 14, 2014
Tagged with: Happiness, retimement, managing people
People used to believe that you didn’t have to be happy at work to succeed. And you didn’t need to like the people you work with, or even share their values. “Work is not personal,” the thinking went. This is bunk.
My research with dozens of companies and hundreds of people — as well as the research conducted by the likes of neuroscientists Richard Davidson and V.S. Ramachandran and scholars such as Shawn Achor — increasingly points to a simple fact: Happy people are better workers. Those who are engaged with their jobs and colleagues work harder — and smarter.
Why Your Business Should Put Value Before Greed:
Help Your Employees Discover Their Purpose and You’ll See A Significant Improvement To Their Level of Engagement and Overall Performance.
For businesses today, the most valuable asset they manage are their people––and employee engagement and satisfaction are strategic imperatives that every leadership team should understand and proactively explore.
People who simply show up to work each day unengaged are not actively using their talents to pursue or connect to their true purpose and as a result are unable to operate at their full potential.
This Company Is Taking A Radical Approach To Work-Life Balance
Most of the American workforce has been conditioned to feel guilty about asking the boss for time off – whether for a vacation, a doctor’s visit, or to see their kid in a school play. As HuffPost’s Jillian Berman recently wrote, “Americans Are Too Afraid And Stressed To Take Days Off From Work.” The article points to a survey revealing that “40% of American workers will leave vacation days on the table, sacrificing their health and well-being and adopting a ‘work martyr complex’ to demonstrate their value.” We’ve been trained to believe our success is tied to how many hours we’re putting in at work – no matter what the trade-offs may be.
The Secret of Effective Motivation
By Amy Wrzesniewski, nytimes.com
July 4, 2014
Tagged with: Motivation, retimement
Credit Olimpia Zagnoli
Photo by: Olimpia Zagnoli
THERE are two kinds of motive for engaging in any activity: internal and instrumental. If a scientist conducts research because she wants to discover important facts about the world, that’s an internal motive, since discovering facts is inherently related to the activity of research. If she conducts research because she wants to achieve scholarly renown, that’s an instrumental motive, since the relation between fame and research is not so inherent. Often, people have both internal and instrumental motives for doing what they do.
The Difference Between Wanting And Having To Work
May 22 05:30 AM
Tagged With: Allocation of time, retimement
This distinction is rooted in the balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and your company’s culture will dictate how your employees feel about coming to work.
The Inner Workings of the Executive Brain
By Andrew Blackman, online.wsj.com
April 27 06:07 AM
Tagged With: Innovation, retimement
Take much of what you know about how the best executives make decisions. Now, forget it.
For instance, we all “know” that tight deadlines lead to inspiration. Except they often don’t. Instead, they typically are counterproductive—making people less creative precisely when they need to be. Or most of us assume that when we try to solve problems, we’re drawing on the logical parts of our brains. But, in fact, great…
Bridging the Complexity Gap: Leading Effectively in a VUCA World
In the weeks before September 11, the U.S. Army War College coined the term VUCA to stand for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments. Globalization, information technology, economic and political instability, and climate change create a level of interconnection and interdependence that requires a new kind of leadership.
5 Secrets to Finding Time for Work, Love, and Play From “Overwhelmed” Author Brigid Schulte
It’s impossible to be creative, or in fact do much of anything at work, when you feel pulled in a thousand directions. Overwhelmed author Brigid Schulte talks about how to restructure your days so you don’t always feel so damned busy.
Just talking about her old way of life makes Brigid Schulte short of breath. The Washington Post reporter and author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, led a very busy, full, and stressful life. “I’m having a hard time breathing telling you this,” she says while recounting her formerly hectic daily routine.