The Fatique Factor affects Productivity

The fatigue factor affects productivity

By Harold Taylor

Working long hours makes you good at one thing – working long hours. It does not increase either your efficiency or effectiveness. Any anticipated increase in personal productivity is usually offset by a lower work pace, additional errors, more frequent self- generated distractions, decreased creativity, and a decline in energy and motivation.

Long hours can reduce productivity

Long hours can reduce productivity

If the increased working hours, reduces the total amount of sleep that one gets, it could also impact their physical and mental health – causing obesity, diabetes, memory impairment, high blood pressure, heart disease, and a weakened immune system.

Sleep deprivation can affect your health

Sleep deprivation can affect your health

Total output does not vary directly with the amount of time worked. If you cut one third off your working hours for instance, you would not cut one third off your output. In fact, for those people working 12 hour per day, a reduction to eight hours may not result in any perceivable drop in total output. Productivity, (output per hour) would actually increase.

Overwork, lack of sleep and energy drain can cause accidents as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US estimates that drowsy drivers cause 100,000 accidents, 71,000 injuries and 1550 fatalities each year.

In January of 2011 an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Zurich made a sudden descent, injuring 14 passengers and two crew members when a fatigued pilot mistakenly believed the plane was on a collision course with another aircraft.

In general, people need to shorten their working hours and lengthening their sleeping and resting hours – and this usually entails turning off their electronic devices sooner at night

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  1. This reminds me of the Oxygen Mask Theory (or so I call it), where, in the event of a loss of airline cabin pressure, you’d better put your mask on first or you won’t be ABLE to help those around you. It just doesn’t make sense to work yourself to death, or to help others at the exclusion of taking care of yourself!

  2. Thanks Julie,
    This is so true. Thanks for the reminder. I know there is a visible difference in my attitude and performance when I am tired. Sometimes I struggle and struggle, give up, sleep, wake up and look at the issue and the answer presents it self with ease – no struggle!

    • I have heard a lot lately about the adverse health effects of sleep deprivation, only sleeping 4-5 hours/night. I have been going to bed earlier to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night and it makes my days much easier.

  3. I’ve actually experienced this. When I know my work day or week is going to be shortened because of a meeting or personal appointment, I work more efficiently to make sure I get everything done.

    As I typed that, I realized that making a photography appointment with myself might help me to get my work done more quickly than if I simply hope to have some free time when my work is done. See Julie – you’re still coaching me through your blog!

    • “…making a photography appointment with myself might help me to get my work done more quickly than if I simply hope to have some free time when my work is done.”

      Great idea, Janet. You need your photography as much as your clients need you. I might just try this myself.

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