Watch this excellent presentation on productivity myths and truths by Tony Schwartz, a productivity and performance consultant, over at the 99percent blog (note, this is a popular creativity site, nothing to do with occupy wall street, sort of its antithesis…)
The four sources of energy
- Quantity – Physical energy. The foundation of all other energy. Sheer force
- Quality – Emotional energy. Engagement in and Enjoyment of your work. (How do you feel when you perform at your best? That’s the way you need to feel to perform at your best.) You can cultivate these emotions.
- Focus – Mental energy. Undivided, absorbed, sustained attention.
- Purpose – Spiritual Energy. When you think what you do really matters, you bring more energy to the table.
Three prevalent productivity myths
Myth 1: best way to get work done is to work more hours
Reality 1: We are not meant to work continuously. Build in intermittent renewal along the way. Physiologically designed to “pulse”. Designed to expend and renew energy in a rhythmic way. If we do not do this, we will look for artificial ways to do it (Coffee in the AM, Martinis in the PM, Sleeping pills overnight.)
Myth 2: 1 hour less sleep = 1 hour more productivity
Reality 2: Even small amounts of sleep deprivation have a profound impact not just on our health, but also on our cognitive capacity and our effectiveness. Sleep is the most important behavior in your life to get right, and it’s the first one we get wrong.
Myth 3: It’s the number of tasks we’re capable of juggling simultaneously that determines how productive we are.
Reality 3: We’re most efficient when we do one thing at a time, fully absorbed, sequentially.
And gives us applications points by challenging you to
- What’s the longest you’ve gone without checking your email during the past month?
- When was the last time you took an hour or two out of your day just to think creatively or long term without interruption?
- How often do you sit back for a few moments, take a deep breath and quiet your mind?
It’s interesting how closely aligned his findings are with the God given concepts of sleep, rest, sabbath, and mission…