There have been several stories noting the fact that people have a hard time taking a break from work these days. Those people that are glued to their computers or Blackberries will typically argue that constant attention is a must, given the amount of work that they have to get done. But as Dan Markovitz astutely points out, people that are always plugged in are often no better at keeping up with work levels. He makes his point by drawing an analogy to manufacturing. If your factory is producing way more of a given item than you need, it's easy to ignore the occasional product defect. But if you're producing the exact amount the required by the market, then it's of utmost importance to reduce defects and operate efficiently. If you keep allocating extra hours to your work, there's no impetus to figure out what's going wrong and why work is taking up so much time. But by stepping away after an alloted time, you're forced to identify how your actual working hours could be made more productive.
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