Sunday, 1 January 2012

THE WAY WE ARE WORKING

Can it really be? Are we already in a brand new year? 52 weeks have slipped by silently. What have I achieved? I hope being able to make bread successfully count as achievement!

A friend mentioned to me this morning that his New Year resolution is to try and spend more time with his family and less hours at work. He was getting so used to staying late in the office that on the days when he is actually able to leave the office by 6PM, he actually feels burdened by a sense of guilt. “I felt like I had surely missed out something important.”  Even after he reaches home he still check emails on his BB and attend late night conference calls.

I think he speaks for many of us. Will we allow ourselves to change though?  Here's something to think about:

The way we’re working isn’t working.
No matter how much value we produce today (whether it’s measured in dollars or sales or goods or widgets) it’s never enough. We run faster, stretch out our arms further, and stay at work longer and later.

All this furious activity exacts a series of silent costs: less capacity for focused attention, less time for any given task, and less opportunity to think reflectively and long term. When we finally do get home at night, we have less energy for our families, less time to wind down and relax, and fewer hours to sleep. We return to work each morning feeling less rested, less than fully engaged, and less able to focus. It’s a vicious cycle that feeds on itself.
We’re guided by a fatal assumption that the best way to get more done is to work longer and more continuously. But the more hours we work and the longer we go without real renewal, the more we begin to default, reflexively, into behaviors that reduce our own effectiveness – impatience, frustration, distraction, and disengagement – and take a pernicious toll on others.
The ethic of more, bigger faster generates value that is narrow, shallow, and short term. More and more, paradoxically, leads to less and less.

Extracted from The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working by Tony Schwartz

2 comments:

Steph said...

Happy New Year, Fun!! Wishing you a year of clear complexion, better work life balance and cheery as always!! I am missing the baking session we had.. must make time to organize one in Q1 2012! Let's target something healthy for a start. :)

Fun said...

Thanks, Steph! Looking forward to the baking session.