Always on the go? Put the “Go-go-go” on pause
By: Gabe Rocha
In this line of work, (marketing, media, business), you will come across every type of person. To name a few: the “reliable” person who you can always count on (God bless their hearts). The “unreliable” person, who before you ever send them an email, you’re already plotting the follow-up asking for a response. Then, there is the “spry” person, who’s optimistic and ready to “make a change.” And of course, there is the “on the go” person. Whether the “on the go” person is planning, reviewing, or networking, they just never have time to slow down. While every corner of the internet, from savvy mogul to Tik Tok influencer, suggests that a good work ethic is a key to success, many “on the go” people will take that as a suggestion to cancel all their lunches and spend that time sitting on their laptop, grinding away. However, while a steady work ethic is necessary, and burning some midnight oil here and there will not kill anyone, is always “on the go” really optimal for success?
In this contemporary climate of Instagramming your morning Frappuccino and LinkedINing (is that a word, yet?) your latest business success, many would be inclined to agree with this sentiment! I get it, we are currently in a culture of, go-go-go! You want to be successful, then you need to play the part! Go after it! Work! Grind! Hack-away! Again, I get it.
Let’s take into consideration one of the most important and heart-pounding jobs man has ever known – air traffic control. ATCs, or air traffic controllers, are ground-based personnel who monitor and observe air traffic to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of traffic, as well as to provide information and other support for pilots. Possibly, no job is more crucial, as you have multiple lives in your hands, all depending on your assistance. Knowing this, ATCs are required by law to take breaks often. In fact, ATCs cannot work longer than 2 hours before being obliged, again, by law, to take a 30-minute break. The reason being? Well, the FAA has found that a human’s ability to concentrate and perform adequately drops significantly only after two hours of strenuous work. Therefore, many ATCs will take breaks even before meeting their 2 hours on shift. (So, still, believe another hour of work before lunch is beneficial for you?).
Taking the FAA’s findings into consideration may also be a reason for work weeks to be transitioning from five days to four. Yes, four-day work weeks are starting to become authorized and may one day even become the norm. For example, just this year, Japan’s Panasonic is the newest large company to announce that they are shifting towards a 4-day-work week option for employees. As report after report shows company productivity stays the same (if not, increases) and company morale increases due to less stress.
In today’s age, while the “on the go” person may feel they are getting farther, truly, are they? Has the “go-go-go” grinder tracked their mileage? And if so, have they tracked their quality of mileage? Have our Instagrammed Frappuccino’s and LinkedIN-shared successes made our work ethic any sharper? Or have we gotten to the point where our senses are dulled, and our focus is more on sending out email rather than the actual person that it is intended for? If working fast has allowed us to send out 100 emails, of those, how many were fruitful? Perhaps now is the time for us to put a pause on the “go-go-go” and see where we are at, as a whole? Contrary to popular belief, a 10-minute break might make your work ethic sharper!