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Your Work Ethic Is Not the Problem — Debunking Three Modern-Day Productivity Myths Productivity is an age-old dilemma. But before you try to solve it, consider whether you’re asking the right questions.




In ancient Greece, philosophers like Plato and Aristotle were already grappling with the notion of work-life balance. The latter described amusement as a remedy for the “ills of work,” which he said was accompanied by “toil and strain.” Work, they acknowledged, was necessary for living a virtuous life — and paying for stuff — but it shouldn’t be the end, in and of itself.

Nearly two-and-a-half millennia later, we still struggle to define what constitutes a good life and how work and productivity factor in. Our modern-day hustle culture, and many of today’s outspoken business leaders, would have you believe that more is more. A steely, unwavering work ethic is a requisite for success. Sleep can wait, so the thinking goes.

But a growing body of research plus some innovative companies are showing that the truth about productivity is more nuanced. More isn’t always more — but working long hours isn’t always bad either. There are no hard and fast rules.

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