A Major Myth — Most of us believe (wrongly) that to get more work done, we should work more time. Instead,…-->
Author Tony Schwartz (Be Excellent At Anything) had some good nuggets on increasing energy and productivity at SXSW in Austin today.
Talented artist Sunni Brown did this super-cool live drawing of Tony’s talk (below).
Emotional Energy — How you feel influences how you perform. Duh!
A Major Myth — Most of us believe (wrongly) that to get more work done, we should work more time. Instead, Tony says, we should manage our energy better.
The Power of Sleep — “Sleep is the single most undervalued behavior in our lives” because of the myth that if we give up one hour of sleep that will equate to one hour of additional productivity.
Quote from Herbert Simon — “What information consumes is rather obvious. It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”
Multitasking is Bad — It is inefficient to multi-task (technically you can only task-shift). If you shift your attention from something, the cost to you is 25% effectiveness on that first item’s successful completion.
Two Tips On Improving Your Productivity– He cites a study of Berlin violinists by some guy who is an “expert on experts” (they were cited in Outliers)
#1 Practice– The top violinists practiced for 90 minutes maximum in 3 sessions primarily in morning (Schwartz says that it’s been proven that you can only practice 4.5 hours total in a day (that’s the limit))
#2 Sleep — Schwartz said that the superstar violinists slept more than average violinists (typically 8+ hours per night) and that they also napped on a regular basis (about 2.8 hours per week).
I was discussing ‘recharging’ with some friends over pizza in the Italian North Beach neighborhood of San Franciso the other night.
The concept of recharging caught my eye when I read the amazing book: The Power Of Full Engagement by Tony Schwartz & Jim Loehr.
I was captivated by the stories that Tony & Jim told of how they studied professional tennis players.
I must have lent my copy of the book out so I’m going by memory here…as I recall, Tony & Jim studied two groups of tennis pros:
When they studied videos of the two groups of tennis pros, they noticed something odd: there was no real difference in the talent of the two groups (a guy ranked 200 had essentially the same quality serve, forehand, backhand, etc. of a guy ranked #1).
So, what WAS the difference between the two groups
Answer: careful analysis showed that the main difference was the way the two different groups “recharged.”
Examples of recharging were:
What the players did between points
Group A had a a nice steady breath and a casual glance at their racket (perhaps adjusting a string or two) or looking up at place in the crowd or sky
Group B, on the other hand, spent time in between points getting angry with themselves or an umpire (e.g. about the last point they may have lost), distracted by someone in the crowd, or were otherwise fidgety.
A look at what the players did in between games and sets was similar: Group A player was relaxed and regrouping while Group B player was talking to himself or a fan or the umpire.
I recall that the authors may have also mentioned that they observed differences between how the two groups acted (or recharged) between matches too.
So, how does this relate to you?
Well, Tony & Jim pointed out that business-folks need recharging even more than athletes (because we typically don’t have coaches to help us out, structured training or dedicated time off (such as Spring/Summer for most professional basketball players or Winter for baseball players).
Reading Power Of Full Engagement inspired me to be more conscious of how I recharge my batteries.
So, I set up a new recharging strategy…it’s been a couple of years now and I thought I’d lay out my schedule of recharging.
Here’s a typical day for Rob Kelly:
I’m also trying to apply consistent recharging to longer time periods such as:
I’m really happy with the results so far. A consistent recharging has made me feel healthier and more balanced.