Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Energy Project and Take Back Your Lunch

Ever wonder what happened to the lunch hour? Where did it go? Are we actually more productive because we don't take time away from our desks and end up gobbling down food in front of our computer screen. Check this out!

People are more sleep deprived, stressed and exhausted now than a few decades ago. Our compulsive productivity oriented society isn't working for most people. Simple activities like going for a walk, sitting in a park or even reading a bit of a book you're loving will help reenergize you for the rest of your day. It will also make it easier to stay away from caffeine, sugar or other stimulants later in the afternoon.

Here s the book that inspired the Take Back your Lunch Movement.

"The Way We're Working Isn't Working" by Tony Schwartz, CEO of the Energy Project.

Here's a bit more about his book.

The defining ethic in the modern workplace is more, bigger, faster. More information than ever is available to us, and the speed of every transaction has increased exponentially, prompting a sense of permanent urgency and endless distraction. We have more customers and clients to please, more e-mails to answer, more phone calls to return, more tasks to juggle, more meetings to attend, more places to go, and more hours we feel we must work to avoid falling further behind.

The technologies that make instant communication possible anywhere, at any time, speed up decision making, create efficiencies, and fuel a truly global marketplace. But too much of a good thing eventually becomes a bad thing. Left unmanaged and unregulated, these same technologies have the potential to overwhelm us. The relentless urgency that characterizes most corporate cultures undermines creativity, quality, engagement, thoughtful deliberation, and, ultimately, performance.

No matter how much value we produce today—whether it’s measured in dollars or sales or goods or widgets—it’s never enough. We run faster, stretch out our arms further, and stay at work longer and later. We’re so busy trying to keep up that we stop noticing we’re in a Sisyphean race we can never win.

All this furious activity exacts a series of silent costs: less capacity for focused attention, less time for any given task, and less opportunity to think reflectively and long term. When we finally do get home at night, we have less energy for our families, less time to wind down and relax, and fewer hours to sleep. We return to work each morning feeling less rested, less than fully engaged, and less able to focus. It’s a vicious cycle that feeds on itself. Even for those who still manage to perform at high levels, there is a cost in overall satisfaction and fulfillment. The ethic of more, bigger, faster generates value that is narrow, shallow, and short term. More and more, paradoxically, leads to less and less.

Just a little food for thought. The world isn't going to suddenly change around us. We have to change ourselves to feel healthier, more engaged and more fulfilled. It could start with something as simple as stepping away from your desk to mindfully eat your lunch and give yourself a bit of downtime.


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