Joy Journal

Every Friday, you can receive the Joy Journal, which will give you information, inspiration and tips that you can use in your pursuit for joy.


Stop Glamorizing the Grind

More Hours = Less Productivity

In the United States, we have been a society that glamorizes the grind. We take pride in having a strong work ethic and putting in long hours, and with WFH, the number of working hours has seemed to increase even more.

If we break it down, there’s the number of hours we work in a given week and there’s the productivity of those hours.  In the US, we work an average of 47 hours per week.  By comparison, Finland works 36.2 hours.  I refer to Finland because it has topped the World Happiness Index for 3 years running.  Is there something to learn here?

In a study by Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert, she found that there was only a one-hour difference between people who felt like they had a lot of time and those who felt time-pressured.  Those who felt like they didn’t have enough time worked 8.6 hours per day, and those who felt like that has the most time worked 7.6 hours.  Again, is there something to learn here?

Finally, a study by John Pencavel of Stanford University found that productivity falls sharply after a 50-hour work week, and “falls off a cliff” after 55 hours—meaning that a person who puts in 70 hours produces the same as the person who puts in 55 hours.

Could you make 7.6 hours per day your aim?  Would it increase your productivity in that time AND give you more time for yourself—thereby increasing joy?  I’m up for conducting our own personal study if anyone would like to join me.

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