The article begins by giving examples of two men named “Bill” and “Nick” who have equal skill, who work at the same office and at the same hours, coming in at 9 a.m. each day and leaving at 7 p.m.
Then there’s Nick. He works intensely for approximately 90 minutes at a time, and then proceeds to take a 15 minute break before resuming work. At 12:15, he goes out for lunch for 45 minutes, or works out in a nearby gym. At 3 pm, he closes his eyes at his desk and takes a rest. Sometimes it turns into a 15 or 20 minute nap. Finally, between 4:30 and 5, Nick takes a 15 minute walk outside.
While they both work hard while they are at work, Nick takes the opportunity to refuel and put more energy into his eight hours of work than Bill has in his 10. Studies show that people who work like Nick have faster reaction time and make fewer mistakes as they are more alert. They also have more energy for other aspects of their lives outside of work, such as family and hobbies. They understand that they work to live, not live to work.
People around the world believe that Americans are working themselves to death. We need to discover the importance of smarter, not harder and as we do that, we will begin to realize that it is just as important to work hard as it is to unwind and recover.
- Rob Goates