That ‘Back to School’ Feeling

Posted by: on Sep 18, 2015 | No Comments

I’ve just come back from a wonderfully relaxing holiday. I guess September is not just back to school for students and children, it’s also back to work for many adults. So September – as people inevitably think about what they need to achieve between now and Christmas – might be a good time to think about a fresh start in our work habits.

Holidays can reconnect us to the power of extended leisure time and as I look at the next few months in my work I’m delighted to say we are really busy, but some recent reading has made me think “busy doing what?”

As a judge in the upcoming Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards I read a piece by Hayley Kirton. In reporting on the work life balance achieved in Japan, she cites an OECD report:

“22.6% of workers in Japan work an average of at least 50 hours per week and the monthly labour survey which the countries ministry for health labour and welfare compiles reveals that the average full-time employee put in an astounding 173 hours of overtime during 2014.”

Despite this heroic effort, The country is in fact no more productive,

“according to a report by McKinsey, labour productivity has trundled along at less than 2% for the last 20 years”.

Which make me think, if holidays have shown me the benefits of uninterrupted leisure time, how might I get some more of that leisure time between holidays? In other words am I working long hours but being less productive?

Like Japan, the UK in the same report workers perform the equivalent of an average of £6050 hours of unpaid overtime and yet figures from the ONS show that productivity per worker in the UK is 19% below the average for the G7 countries. In other words we work long hours but don’t achieve as much work as in other countries who work fewer hours and presumably therefore have more free time.

Perhaps we can use this time to make some productivity resolutions. The Creative Shift blog has some suggestions for you:

Unleash the Candy Bomb Combos!

Never Send an Email to do a Phone Call’s Job

Does Your Calendar Look Like a Bar Code?

Are you spending too much time in meetings but don’t seem to achieve anything? This article fromBass Clusker may help.

Rather than the period of September to Christmas being a last minute race to the finish line, perhaps we can (and I’m sure I need this advice more than the rest of you frankly!) spend a little time reviewing what it is we do in order to make sure it’s truly effective and productive.

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