I love this kind of article. Not just because Tony Schwartz argues for a coffee break every 90 minutes. And not just because he argues that working less hours will produce better results.

No, I like it because Schwartz marshals research and personal experience to challenge the foundations of how we think about work and productivity. It helps me to understand the fascinating complexity and mystery of mind/body interaction. It confirms the divine order of physical, mental and emotional rest and renewal being vital to a productive life. And it demonstrates how the Christian can use the research of non-Christians to learn how to glorify God better.

You can read the whole article here. Some snippets to show your boss:

As every great athlete understands, the highest performance occurs when we balance work and effort with rest and renewal. The human body is hard-wired to pulse, and requires renewal at regular intervals not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally….


In the renowned 1993 study of young violinists, performance researcher Anders Ericsson found that the best ones all practiced the same way: in the morning, in three increments of no more than 90 minutes each, with a break between each one. Ericcson found the same pattern among other musicians, athletes, chess players and writers….


The counterintuitive secret to sustainable great performance is to live like a sprinter. In practice, that means working at your highest intensity in the mornings, for no more than 90 minutes at a time before taking a true break.

Picture: 2005 © Alex Bramwell. Image from

  • Scott@fb

    So who cares about “sustainable great performance” anyway? Employers generally want to use up employees, until they quit out of frustration, and then hire someone else. Very little work is similar to that of pro athletes and world-class musicians, after all. Workers are fungible for most employers, and when one group burns out, you just hire the next. The “costs” of working continually are usually providing food, clothing, and shelter. There is no incentive for an employer to pace employees so they will be productive for longer periods. I don’t disagree with what the article says, but I find it hard to apply to the real world.This is a great way for Christians to demonstrate that God’s system is different from the world’s system, by treating their employees humanely.

  • John Beeler

    Interesting. Made me rethink my sermon prep. time. Thanks