To get the most value out of your work week it is crucial to work in chunks of uninterrupted time rather than long grinds filled with constant stops and starts for email and phone calls. Yes, the good news is that by managing your energy levels and taking breaks, even very short ones, you can be far more productive and keep your stress levels down.
Tony Schwartz author of the book The Way We Work Isn’t Working, co-written with Jean Gomes and Catherine McCarthy, has concluded that to be top of our game, we need to integrate both intense periods of work and short periods of rest into the work-day. Schwartz is featured today in a Globe & Mail interview “An R&R room at the office? It could be just what the company needs” by Wency Leung:
Q: Your book suggests it’s possible to get more done by spending less time at work. Can you explain?
A: I don’t think it’s so much about spending less time at work; I think it’s about shifting the focus from time to energy. The more continuously and longer you work, the less incremental return you get on each additional hour.
We are physiologically meant to pulse, and we operate best when we move between spending energy and renewing energy. We value spending energy and we are good at it, but we undervalue renewing energy, even though that’s a powerful way to improve performance.
I urge you to read the article and give this approach a try. What is the impact on your effectiveness when you schedule in several periods for uninterrupted work during the day, with short breaks and periods for phone calls and email?