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Why the Eight-Hour Workday Doesn't Work


worker checking watch

The eight-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution to cut the number of hours workers were forced to endure on the factory floor. This breakthrough was a more humane approach to work two hundred years ago but it isn't helping us today; it's holding us back.

A study recently conducted by the Draugiem Group used a computer application to track employees' work habits. Specifically, the application measured how much time people spent on various tasks and compared this to their productivity levels.

In the process of measuring people's activity, they stumbled upon a fascinating finding: the length of the workday didn't matter much; what mattered was how people structured their day. In particular, people who were religious about taking short breaks were far more productive than those who worked longer hours.

The ideal work-to-break ratio was 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest. People who maintained this schedule had a unique level of focus in their work.

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