Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hols and Idols

Sometimes one just needs a vacation. Canadians are a bit stingy with their vacations, though not as much as Americans, who seem to view time off as the eighth deadly sin. Ezra Klein on May 16th did a nice analysis of vacation days, and Finland is definitely looking like the place to live.

Hols are good for work, as any sane European will tell you. After one week of decompressing and one week of rejuvenating, your productivity shoots up. Get more time off, and you're panting to go back to work. When was the last time you felt like that? If you go month after month after month with no time off whatsoever, your work will get stale and slow, and you probably won't even notice the decline. Stanley Coren showed this effect quite nicely in his book Sleep Thieves, when he tried reducing his sleep hours and had no idea how bad his work was becoming until he caught up on his sleep deficit, looked back at what he'd done when sleep-deprived, and went "egads" in horror at how bad it was and then, even worse, at how good he thought it was during his time of reduced sleep.

Your boss might complain -- heck thinktanks complain -- about the low productivity in the Canadian workforce but then insist the solution is more hours at work. But as Coren showed, the solution to a tired brain is rest, not more work. It's kind of logical, don't you think? So on that note it's time for me to take a vacation. See you in a couple of weeks!

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But before I go, just a short programming note. Canadian Idol starts at 8:00 pm tonight. There goes CTV with its bouncing ball of where to place Canadian programming around its preferred American shows. I'm rather tired of its inability to just schedule the darn thing, stay confident in its popularity, stick to it, and let the American programs fall where they may. Sigh.

1 comment:

Martin said...

Not only is it good to take that vacation to unwind and refresh but we have to remember to leave that work cell phone or computer at the office. It isn't much of a holiday when your cell is constantly ringing.