Monday, May 10, 2010

Working harder, faster

The following paragraphs are from an article by Tony Schwartz, entitled, The Productivity Myth

Americans already put in more hours than workers in any country in the world - and that doesn't include the uncounted shadow work that technology makes possible after the regular workday ends.
Here's the bigger point. Just as you'll eventually go broke if you make constant withdrawals from your bank account without offsetting deposits, you will also ultimately burn yourself out if you spend too much energy too continuously at work without sufficient renewal.
Getting more tasks accomplished — say writing and responding to scores of emails in between other activities — may technically represent higher productivity, but it doesn't necessarily mean adding greater value.
Instead, the ethic of more, bigger, faster ultimately generates value that is narrow, shallow and short-term.
When you're running as fast as you can, what you sacrifice is attention to detail, and time to step back, reflect on the big picture, and truly think strategically and long-term.

A lot of what he says applies to.....ministers (!) Yes, there is a need to be available to your congregation, but if you're tired out, lacking concentration and in general working well under par, you may not be much good to them.

It's interesting to read some of the comments to this article - the work ethic is so strong in the American psyche that a number of the commenters find it difficult to agree with much of what Schwartz says.

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