Tony Schwartz: The Myths of the Overworked Creative
The only resources that last are those that we renew. No, this is not an environmental statement — Tony Schwartz is talking about capacity. Our capacity as doers, workers, creators.
I don’t follow the science, which comes from sports science (and maybe some sort of spiritualism?) but the general gist of the half hour talk is that we have 4 sources of energy, not unlimited capacity to work and that rest is vital to working effectively. They are:
- Physical energy, the quantity of energy
- Emotional energy, the quality of energy and how you feel when you are performing at your best
- Mental energy, the focus of your energy
- Spiritual energy, a sense of purpose, of serving something bigger than yourself
Here are some quotes:
Myth — the best way to get more done is to work more hours
Reality — were more productive when we build in intermittent renewal along the way
Myth — one hour less of sleep will lead to one hour more in productivity
Reality — even small of amounts of sleep deprivation have a profound impact not just on our health, but also on our cognitive capacity and our effectiveness
Tony Schwartz also attacks “the myth of mutlti tasking” arguing that “we are most efficient when we do one thing at a time in an absored way for a significant period of time”. I hear this argument more and more and speaking for myself it rings true.
Tony Schwartz is advocating that we bring renewal into the workplace to raise quality, productivity, and satisfaction. The next step is to think about what this means — for the design of the work environment and for the planning of projects.