订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

领导力

高管自述:我最糟糕的生产率试验

Jesse Lear 2019年01月21日

别在家做这个试验。

最近有天下午,我坐在人满为患的咖啡店里,一边抱怨Wi-Fi,一边因为没完成工作自责,我感觉自己濒临崩溃。我坐直身子,把目光从电脑屏幕上移开,然后想:“再也不能这么过了。”

我受够了密密麻麻的任务清单;受够了从紧张的梦里醒来,感觉自己好像工作了一整夜;受够了不吃早餐,趁会议间隙猛吃燕麦条,晚上拼命往家赶,就为了赶在我最喜欢的快餐店关门前买点吃的。应我觉得该尝试一些新东西了。

我匆匆忙忙给助理发了封电子邮件说:“请取消今后两周我在上午的所有日程。我想做个试验。”

对这个为期两周的试验,我的唯一要求就是每天上午放松自己,充充电,休息一下。比如在我最喜欢的咖啡厅看《基督山伯爵》。

在这两周里,我把工作时间限定在中午到晚上九点。

我很兴奋,老师说也有点害怕。此前我也只能勉强跟上工作进度,缩短工作时间后情况会怎么样?我的良师益友们会怎么想?毕竟,要成功就得一天忙到晚,对吧?

但我的想法是,每天上午有几个小时的喘息时间来思考、遐想和放松或许会有出人意料的效果,反而会让我效率更高。

实际情况是这样:

第一天:我八点半左右醒了过来,躺在床上放松了一会儿。摸到自己的手机,为这段新增的闲暇时间设想了一系列活动。然后我起床,穿上毛衣,戴上帽子,在附近散了很长时间的步。等我洗完澡穿好衣服做个奶昔,就已经中午了。

第二天:尽管我把闹钟定在七点,我还是睡到了十点。因为看电视一直看到凌晨三点,我需要多睡一会儿。实际情况证明,在第二天上午不用工作的情况下,很难坚持早睡。我做了早饭,看了几页《基督山伯爵》。然后我发现已经十一点半了,所以赶紧冲了个热水澡,迅速穿好衣服。午餐会十二点半开始,我晚了几分钟。我觉得都要散架了,浑身懒洋洋的,随后的几个小时里一直怪自己睡太久。

第三天:我又睡过头了。要不是手机响,我可能会继续睡下去。我揉着眼睛,挣扎着想坐起来,我还听见自己对朋友说:“哥们,我真想赶紧结束试验。”我半睡半醒地离开了公寓,穿着皱皱巴巴的连帽衫和牛仔裤,把车开到了我家前面的修车铺。我的车需要换刹车片了。由于我要从中午工作到晚上九点,所以只能预约上午修车。睡得太晚,上午又过得稀里糊涂,我累得忘了看日程表,还错过了下午一点和大客户的重要会议。

起头的三天就为这两周奠定了基调。

第十四天上午,我坐在床上回想着自己的试验。很可能最让我意外的就是从头到尾我的心情一点也没变。除了工作进度“大有起色”外,我还是跟试验前一样不高兴,一样茫然无措。

我回想起了几年前和一位导师的对话。当时我的公司刚刚起步,所以找他抱怨压力太大。听我诉完苦后,他说:“工作不是压力的来源,真正的压力来自对工作的担心。你干吗这么担心?”

突然,我意识到自己想错了。我本该从这次尝试中学的东西其实跟我的工作日程没有一点关系。试验失败的原因是,无论日程怎样改进,或者我花多长时间来娱乐和放松,我还是我。

我还是会因为犯下愚蠢的错误而自责;只要达不到目标,我还是会痛骂自己;我还是总担心自己不够好,不够聪明,不够有效率;我还是吃的乱七八糟,还是没时间让自己恢复活力,还是埋在一堆要做的工作里。唯一改变的是我的睡觉时间,还变糟了。

我需要吸取的教训要深刻的多。

想象一个小孩子正在踢足球。他来回奔跑,气喘吁吁,竭尽全力。足球几乎跟小孩一样大,看上去很可爱。但他非常坚定,而且非常努力。他甚至进了几个球,让人觉得眼前一亮。

但突然,这个小家伙踩到松开的鞋带一头栽倒在草地上。他爸爸马上在观众席上跳起来大喊道:“怎么搞的?跑几步都会摔倒。没出息!”

看到这一幕,就连最铁石心肠的人也会忍不住对这位父亲怒火中烧。如此严厉的责骂会留下难以愈合的伤疤,我们都很清楚,因为我们把事情搞砸的时候经常也会这样骂自己。也许正因如此,听到别人这么说会格外生气。

但慢慢地,我们成熟了,觉得自己再也不是足球场上的可爱小孩,不再值得鼓励和表扬;开始觉得要激发斗志最好通过骂自己,而不是鼓劲。

或许照镜子时当初那个小孩早已不见,但在内心深处,我们都知道自己骨子里没变多少。每天早上起床工作,时刻努力打拼想做到最好。其实很难,因为在目标和梦想面前,我们如此渺小,也正因为如此,每取得一点成就都十分不易。梦想落空的时候也很多,但这就是生活。

这次试验改变了我两个星期的日程,但并没有改变我,这就是失败的原因。试验过去好几天了,我的生活已回归正常,加班加点,早出晚归。不过,和之前一段时间相比,我更快乐了,工作效率也提高了。

虽然这绝对是我最糟糕的生产率试验,但还是很感激。因为我明白了,我还是当初那个足球场上的小孩;我明白了快乐跟去哪里做什么无关;我还明白了,要善待的不光是别人。我决定要开始给自己加油鼓劲了。(财富中文网)

杰西·李尔是V.I.P. Waste Services联合创始人,该公司的业务是跟公寓社区签约,为其提供上门收取垃圾和可回收物的高端服务。

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

One recent afternoon, as I sat in a crowded coffee shop cursing the Wi–Fi and beating myself up for not getting enough done, I reached my limit. I leaned back, looked away from my screen, and thought, “I don’t want to live like this anymore.”

I was tired of overwhelming to-do lists. Tired of waking up from stressful dreams that left me feeling like I’d worked all night. Tired of skipping breakfast, scarfing down granola bars between meetings, and racing home at night just in time to drive through my favorite fast-food place before it closed. It was time to try something new.

And so in a rash decision, I sent an email to my assistant and said, “Please clear my calendar every morning until noon for the next two weeks. I want to do an experiment.”

My only requirement for this two-week experiment was that I spend each morning on activities that would allow me to relax, recharge, and rest. Like reading The Count of Monte Cristo at my favorite cafe. Kayaking down a river. Even just pacing around my apartment dreaming – like I used to do as a kid.

During these two weeks, work would be limited to the hours between noon and 9 p.m.

I was excited. Admittedly, I was also scared. What would happen if I worked fewer hours given that I was already barely keeping up? What would my friends and mentors think? After all, you have to hustle 24/7 to make it big, right?

My assumption, though, was that having several hours of breathing room every morning to think, dream, and relax would have a counter-intuitive effect and actually make me more productive.

Here’s what happened next:

Day 1: I woke up around 8:30 a.m. and relaxed in bed for a while. Reaching for my phone, I dreamed up a list of activities to do during my newfound free time. Then I got out of bed, put on sweats and a hat and went for a long walk around the neighborhood. By the time I showered, dressed, and made myself a smoothie, it was noon.

Day 2: Despite setting my alarm for 7 a.m, I slept until 10 a.m. Having watched TV until 3 a.m., I needed the extra sleep. Turns out it’s hard to motivate yourself to go to bed early when you don’t have to work until noon. I made breakfast and read a few pages from The Count of Monte Cristo. Next thing I knew, it was 11:30 a.m., so I rushed through a hot shower and quickly got dressed. Arriving a few minutes late to my 12:30 p.m. lunch meeting, I felt scattered and lazy and spent the next few hours beating myself up for sleeping in so long.

Day 3: I slept in. Again. And I would have slept longer had my phone not rang. Rubbing my eyes and struggling to sit up, I heard myself telling a friend, “Dude, I can’t wait for this experiment to be over.” I left my apartment still half-asleep wearing a wrinkled hoodie and jeans and drove to the auto repair shop down the street. My car needed new brakes, and since I was working noon to 9 p.m. every day, a morning appointment had been the only option. Frazzled from the late night and weird morning, I forgot to check my calendar and also missed an important 1 p.m. meeting with my largest client.

Those first three days set the tone for the entire two weeks.

On the morning of Day 14, I sat in bed reflecting on the experiment. Probably most surprising was the fact that it hadn’t changed how I felt at all. Despite a dramatic “improvement” to my schedule, I was just as unhappy and just as overwhelmed.

That’s when my mind drifted back to a conversation with a mentor of mine from several years earlier. My company was just getting off the ground at the time, and I was complaining about the stress. After listening to me, he said, “Stress doesn’t come from work. It comes from worrying about work. Why are you worrying so much?”

Suddenly, I realized that I was missing the point. The lesson I was supposed to learn from this experiment had nothing to do with my schedule at all. The reason the experiment failed was that, no matter how much my schedule improved or how much time I spent on fun and relaxing activities, I was still me.

I was still beating myself up over every dumb mistake. I was still saying terrible things to myself every time I fell short. I was still constantly worrying that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or productive enough. I was still eating poorly, still not making time for rejuvenating activities, still overwhelmed by my to-do list. The only thing that had changed was my sleep schedule. And it had changed for the worse.

The lesson I needed to learn was much deeper.

Imagine a little kid playing soccer. He runs back and forth, out of breath, trying his hardest. It’s cute to watch because the ball is almost as big as he is. But he’s so determined, and he’s trying so hard. He even makes a couple of goals, which you find impressive.

But then, the little kid trips over an untied shoelace and falls face first onto the grassy field. Immediately, his dad jumps up from the stands and screams, “Are you serious? You can’t even run down the field without falling? You’re such a loser!”

Witnessing this scene would make even the coldest heart burn with anger toward the little kid’s dad. Words like these leave wounds that aren’t easily forgotten, and we know this because we often use them on ourselves when we mess up. Perhaps that’s why it makes us so angry to hear them used on others.

But somewhere along the way, as we’ve grown up, we’ve decided that we are no longer the cute little kid on the soccer field. We’ve decided that we no longer deserve encouragement and grace. We’ve decided that it’s better to whisper hurtful things to ourselves than to cheer ourselves on.

While we may no longer see that little kid when we look in the mirror, deep in our hearts we know that we are still very much him. Every morning, we get out of bed and we do the best we know how. It’s hard, because our goals and dreams are so much bigger than we are, which makes the fact that we’ve already done so much pretty impressive. But we also fall short a lot, and that’s life.

While this experiment changed my schedule for two weeks, it didn’t change me. And that’s why it failed. It’s been several days since it ended, and my life is now back to normal with it’s long hours, early mornings, and late nights. But I’m happier and more productive than I’ve been in a long time.

While this was definitely the worst productivity experiment I’ve ever tried, I’m grateful for it because it taught me that I am still the little kid on the soccer field. It taught me that my happiness has nothing to do with where I go or what I do. And it taught me that kindness isn’t just for other people. I’ve decided to start cheering myself on.

– Jesse Lear is the co-founder of V.I.P. Waste Services, a company that contracts with apartment communities to pick up trash and recyclables from residents’ doors as a luxury amenity.

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏