Interesting article that discusses an increase in U.S. workers’ productivity, but questions whether the gains are part of a short-term burnout that will actually hurt us over the long haul.

Tony Schwartz: The Productivity Myth

Consider this:

 The average American sleeps 6 ½ hours a night — and the costs include not just much higher rates of illness, but also significantly worse performance.

 A comprehensive study by Ernst & Young showed that the longer the vacation their employees took, the better they performed. Yet more than half of all Americans now fail to take all of their vacation days and 30 per cent of Americans use less than half their allotted vacation time.

 Working more than 50 hours a week has been correlated in a raft of studies with less sleep, less physical activity, higher job dissatisfaction and ultimately worse performance.

 In our own work in companies, we’ve consistently observed that the longer and more continuously people work, the less marginal return they get from each additional hour — and the more alienated and disengaged they become.