A high growth business culture often incorporates an ‘all work; no play’ mentality. I’ve certainly had my share of those days where you just push through and work all night to get something done. That kind of work ethic is not sustainable long term.
A recent UK study found that entrepreneurs work an average of 52 hours a week. Which is 63 percent longer than the average worker.
Research shows that working more than 40 hours a week is essentially pointless. In the early 20th century, when unions were pushing to limit long hours, a number of companies conducted studies to figure out if there was a connection between hours worked and productivity. What they found was that there was no noticeable difference in work accomplished at the end of 10 hour work day versus an 8 hour one. Similarly, the studies found that workers accomplish the same amount in six-day and five-day work weeks.
If you’re a business leader stuck in a 60+ hour work-week, it’s time to make some changes. Summer is the perfect time to get out of the office and into some fun that not only will give your brain a break but will inspire all kinds of creativity.
It’s summer, the weather’s warm and the days are long so it’s the perfect time to get some fresh air. A Finnish study found that time spent in parks and walking through the woods decrease employee stress-levels.
The results are even better if you can get somewhere where you’ll be immersed in nature and away from a city.
Meet new people
This is the perfect time of year to get out there and expand your network. You can take up a summer sports or join a book club, as two of my clients recently have.
Studies show that people who spend more time interacting with people outside of their traditional network are more creative. One Stanford professor surveyed nearly 800 senior executives and found that respondents who interacted with a diverse network were three times more likely to come up with innovative solutions than executives with a set network.
Travel the world
I know, it’s expensive and inaccessible to many, but numerous studies show that international travel makes you more creative. One study by researchers at a US University found that the amount of time someone spends abroad is positively correlated to creative solutions. The study also found that people who spent more time trying to adapt to a culture different from their own, came up with more creative solutions.