Work less, make more

Maybe this doesn’t apply when you’re trying to juggle a 9-5 job and writing or you’re a writer with a baby on your arm half the day, but there is an argument that the number of hours you work does not equal the amount you get done.

A properly dry academic research paper by John Pencavel looked into it and 25 pages later concluded:

This re-examination of the recommendations relating to hours of work of the HMWC finds them
broadly consistent with our analysis: at the levels of working hours in 1915 and 1916 during the War, hours reductions would have had small or no damaging effects on output; those weeks without a day of rest from work had about ten percent lower output than weeks when there was no work on Sunday holding weekly hours constant; night work was not less productive than day work and, indeed, may have been slightly more productive.

The Productivity of Working Hours – discussion paper no. 8129 – John Pencavel, Stanford University and IZA (April 2014)

That link is to the full PDF of the research paper so only click it if you’re really interested in this stuff to academic detail.

If you’re not, it boils down to how working 55 hours can achieve the same results as working 70 and I think we knew that. We ignore it and press on into the night, but the quality of our work and the speed drops stone-like after a while.

So don’t do that, okay?

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