February 26th, 2013 |
Earlier this month we watched a groundhog.
It’s a custom begun in the 18th century among Pennsylvanians who brought this tradition from Germany: if the groundhog sees his shadow and returns to his burrow we’ll have six more weeks of winter weather, but if the groundhog pops out and likes what he sees we can anticipate an early spring.
It’s a fact-based custom: hibernating animals take a long snooze in the winter and re-emerge in the spring rested and refreshed.
Research shows we can learn from the groundhog.
In the past 100 years, the way to get more done has been to work longer. Yes, we needed to work smarter, but investing more of our time was the way to accomplish more.
Studies conducted in the 1950s are being confirmed by new research that shows a break from the constant throb of work can increase productivity. Long periods of uninterrupted work decrease productivity.
An internal study by Ernst & Young showed that employees who took an additional 10 hours of vacation improved their performance ratings.
Other effective techniques for fighting mental fatigue and boosting productivity include leaving the office for lunch, alternating work on one project to focus on a different task and – yes – daytime naps.
So stop working like a dog. Work like a groundhog.
To dive even deeper into the topic of accountability, I invite you to purchase a copy of my bestselling book, “Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture.”
Business schools teach case studies. Hollywood blockbusters are inspired by true events.
Exceptional leaders are students of history. Decision-making comes with the territory.