Stop Working More Than 50 Hours a Week! It’s a Waste of (Everyone’s) Time

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

A Stanford economist has found the point at which we should stop working and go home.

You probably have some idea that you’re wasting time when you sit at your office desk through the dinner hour. Any boss worth his or her salt knows this, too. Now, there’s proof that even a formula-addicted economist could love. So as you sift through all the New Year’s resolutions you have already failed to keep this week, it’s not too late to preserve the most important one: Don’t work too much.

restlessHdr (1)Really, you are wasting your time, and your employer’s time. Yet millions of Americans do just that. In a Gallup poll published last year, 4 in 10 Americans said they work more than 50 hours every week, and 2 out of 10 more than 60 hours. The average workweek is 47 hours!

workweek chartFrom the study. (The arrow is mine.)

A study published last year by John Pencavel of Stanford University makes the bold claim that productivity falls sharply after about 50 hours worked in a seven-day week. It falls off a cliff after 55 hours. In fact, folks who worked 70 hours in his study basically accomplished nothing more than folks who worked 55 hours. So, there it is. Go home for dinner.

There have been plenty of such studies before, but mostly using self-reported hours or inexact measures of output. Stuffy economists hate those. Pencavel used a neat data set he found that dated back to World War I at a munitions factory, when the need for output was infinite.

Right now, you are probably thinking that output at a munitions factory has nothing to do with output from your computer keyboard, and you might be right. But this is the trade-off that economists looking for hard conclusions with real data, rather than general assertions from anecdotes, must make.

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,721 more deals!