I just took a nap. Perfect timing for posting this article by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, excerpted in The Week magazine: Why you should work 4 hours a day, according to science
It’s about how some of our greatest scientific minds worked for a maximum of four hours a day and why that’s more effective than the insane (in my opinion) modern American notion that we should work 24/7. I know so many who work, work, work, even on weekends, as if it’s a badge of honor — or worse, something today’s jobs require. When I had a staff, I used to reprimand those who worked too long, too often, because I didn’t see anyone benefiting, including the company.
“Even in today’s 24/7, always-on world, we can blend work and rest together in ways that make us smarter, more creative, and happier.”
Multiple research studies (including by those whose research led to the “10,000 hour” requirement for mastery, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell) support the diminishing returns of overdoing creative and intellectual work.
“Even ambitious young students in one of the world’s best schools, preparing for an notoriously competitive ﬁeld, could handle only four hours of really focused, serious effort per day.
“This upper limit, Ericsson concluded, is deﬁned ‘not by available time, but by available [mental and physical] resources for effortful practice.”
“We’ve come to believe that world-class performance comes after 10,000 hours of practice. But that’s wrong. It comes after 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, 12,500 hours of deliberate rest, and 30,000 hours of sleep.”
The above link is to an excerpt — here’s the full-length version.