Time Management and Fatigue

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.

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.

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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