Changing the world requires hard work. More than 40 hours of work each week are accurate, according to tweet last week by Elon Musk.
CEO SpaceX and Tesla resisted an "unbearable" year that sometimes led him to sleep on the floor in his factory and worked more than 120 hours a week. Billionaire says he has since returned to more "sustainable" 80 to 90 hours a week.
Those who want to imitate the charismatic founder should be cautious, experts say. While shortened hours are the beginning, some warn that long-term working hours can still have a negative impact on human health and productivity.
This is partly about sleep deprivation. Working from 80 to 90 hours a week can mean work from 11 to 18 hours a day, depending on whether you have a weekend. Such a schedule does not leave time for many others, including sleep.
Lack of rest can limit the ability of a person to concentrate and creatively think. "Deprivation of sleep causes cognitive impairment that can lead to dangerous and costly mistakes and accidents at work," says Janet Kennedy, clinical psychologist and founder of the NYC Sleep Doctor. "It also makes us more susceptible to illness, depression and anxiety – all of which compromises productivity."
While naming Musk to prolong working time, Kennedy points out that "he still does not have enough time to recharge." These 80 hours are likely to be very intense, he says, and may not include the time spent tied to work via email, text, or social media.
Quality sleep is not just about getting seven hours closed eyes, warns. The brain needs time to transition, slow down and let the body repair itself. "Stress has a tremendous fee, especially when it's unbearable," says Kennedy, observing that adrenaline accompanies stress and masks the need for rest.
Musk confirmed that his team also added long hours, sometimes up to 100 hours a week. "There was no other way to do it," he said in a Recode interview this year, explaining the challenges automobile companies face to remain successful.
Musk recognized the need for change. In November Musk had to admit that he had moved into a "work plan, but not a noble schedule of work," and journalist Kara Swishero said the founder seems to be resting.
Still, during the toughest moments of this year, he said: "I would rather sleep, work, sleep for several hours, work seven days a week."
Musk also discovered that his 120-hour plan left a feeling of exhaustion, "walnut," as if he "fired a lot of neurons."
"No one should devote so many hours of work," Axios said last week. "It's not recommended to anyone."
He admitted that the pain level increased significantly after exceeding the 80-hour mark.
He added, "If you work 120 hours a week, you will be a bit nice."
Some Silicon Valley leaders, such as the founder of Reddit Alexis Ohanian, began to speak against long hours that have become synonymous for business in recent years. Continuous "hunger," no time for family or rest "has harmful effects not only on your business but also on your well-being," he said at a European Technology Conference earlier this month.
Those who want to create great things should keep in mind that even a 80-90 hour work week can be difficult to keep for most people, especially at the highest level of performance. "It is very likely to be quantified," says Kennedy. "This stress rate has a real impact."
Poor concentration, difficulty finding your words, and inadvertent falling asleep are all signs that you could be overworked and achieve your breakpoint, he says.
"Productivity requires fuel and we all have to recharge to keep it," says Kennedy. "Even Tesla must be involved once in a while."
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