The 8 hour workday is outdated and ineffective

Posted On Monday, 21 August 2017 14:58 Published by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The traditional 8-hour workday is an outdated, ineffective approach to work that actually diminishes productivity. 

Linda_Trim_Giant_Leap

Linda Trim, Director at workplace specialists Giant Leap, said:”It’s time for a change of thinking.”

She noted the 8-hour workday was a relic of the industrial revolution created in an effort to cut down on the number of hours of tough manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor. 

“But like our ancestors, we’re expected to put in 8-hour days, working in long, continuous blocks of time, with few or no breaks. Most people even work right through their lunch hour.” 

Trim notes that if people want to be as productive as possible, they need to let go of this Dickensian approach. 

Here’s a better way:

Structure Your Day

A study recently conducted by the Draugiem Group, a social networking website,  tracked employees’ work habits by measuring how much time people spent on various tasks and compared this to their productivity levels.

Said Trim: “They stumbled upon a fascinating finding: the length of the workday didn’t matter much. What mattered was how people structured their day. In particular, people who were strict about taking short breaks were far more productive than those who worked longer hours.”

The ideal work-to-break ratio was 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest. They didn’t check Facebook or get distracted by e-mails. When they felt fatigue after about an hour, they took short breaks, during which they completely separated themselves from their work.

The Brain Wants an Hour On, 15 Minutes Off

People who have discovered this ‘magic’ productivity ratio tapped into a fundamental need of the human mind: the brain naturally functions in spurts of high energy (roughly an hour) followed by spurts of low energy (15–20 minutes).

“For most of us, this natural ebb and flow of energy leaves us wavering between focused periods of high energy followed by far less productive periods, when we tire and succumb to distractions,” Trim noted. 

Instead of working for an hour or more and then trying to battle through distractions and fatigue, when your productivity begins to dip, take this as a sign that it’s time for a break.

Boss Your Workday

The 8-hour workday can only work well for you if you break your time into strategic intervals that aligns with your natural energy. Here are the best ways to do it:

Break your day into hourly intervals - We naturally plan what we need to accomplish by the end of the day, the week, or the month, but we’re far more effective when we focus on what we can accomplish right now. “Planning your day around hour-long intervals simplifies daunting tasks by breaking them into manageable chunks,” said Trim. 

Respect your hour - The interval strategy only works because we use our peak energy levels to reach an extremely high level of focus for a relatively short amount of time. When you disrespect your hour by texting or checking e-mails you defeat the entire purpose of the approach.

Take real rest - Getting away from your computer, your phone, and your to-do list is essential to boosting your productivity. Breaks such as walking, reading, and chatting are the most effective forms of recharging because they take you away from your work. On a busy day, it might be tempting to think of dealing with e-mails or making phone calls as breaks, but they aren’t, so don’t give in to this line of thought.

The wrap

“Breaking your day down into chunks of work and rest that match your natural energy levels feels good, makes your workday go faster, and boosts your productivity.” Trim concluded. 

Last modified on Monday, 21 August 2017 15:12

Most Popular

Izandla Property Fund celebrates completion and opening of its first development project

May 17, 2019
 SASOL OPENING
Izandla Property Fund announced the completion of the development of a new logistics…

Landmark foreshore building in Cape Town to become iconic mixed-use high-rise

May 17, 2019
FORESHORE PLACE
South Africa, Cape Town; An iconic 70’s high-rise in Cape Town’s downtown financial…

Emira adds another two shopping centres to its USA retail property portfolio

May 17, 2019
 GEOFF JENNETT
Emira Property Fund has made two further equity investments into grocery-anchored…

Alexander Swart Property Group: Cape Town’s Residential Property Values still the best in SA

May 25, 2019
 BBA 1
A survey recently carried out by the respected property analysts, Lightstone, has…

Huge divergent trends in residential building activity in Q1 2019

May 17, 2019
Jacques Du Toit Absa Home Loans
The first quarter of 2019 saw significant diverging trends at a segment level in private…

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.