Last week I had the privilege of reading a fantastic piece on LinkedIn by Jason Fried. As I have been doing the job of many for several months now, in addition to having a new baby, I have been tempted to wear my exhaustion like a badge of honor. “Look at all the work I’m doing well, and I only got 4 hours of sleep!” And then I email critical information to a hospital for one of my students and realize I spelled the students name wrong.
Whenever I speak at a conference, I try to catch a few of the other presentations. I tend to stand in the back and listen, observe, and get a general sense of the room.
Lately, I’ve been hearing something that disturbs me. A lot of entrepreneurs on stage have been bragging about not sleeping, telling their audiences about their 16-hour days, and making it sound like hustle-at-all-costs is the way ahead. Rest be damned, they say — there’s an endless amount of work to do.
I think this message is one of the most harmful in all of business. Sustained exhaustion is not a rite of passage. It’s a mark of stupidity. Literally. Scientists have suggested that scores on IQ tests decline on each successive day you sleep less than you naturally would. It doesn’t take long before the difference is telling.
Read more here.