Why working longer doesn’t help much

One of the themes that goes throughout my writing is that teachers and schools should do less, but better: we should teach less content, focus on fewer skills, and attempt fewer initiatives in schools, so that we can do all of them to a much great extent.  In a great piece from the Lifehacker blog, Manuel Kiessling convincingly argues this logic applies universally:

Let’s face it, doing about 30% better isn’t going to get you anywhere significant. And I’m not even talking about why working 30% longer of course won’t improve anything significant in your company by 30%—much has been written about this already.

Here is what I propose: Rather than ask people to work longer hours, tell your people that you want them to become 300% better at what they do! That you want the whole company to become 300% better than it is right now. And don’t even mention working longer.

Because if you tell people this, everybody is going to understand that this goal won’t be achieved by working 300% longer, because 8 (hours a day) x 300% is 24 hours, and for obvious reasons, working 24 hours a day is not going to work out.