Humans have a tacit bias for tracking performance based on hours. But logging hours is an outmoded concept in a world filled with endless busywork.

In this episode, I chat with Tami Forman, the CEO of Path Forward, a nonprofit organization that helps women (and men) transition back into the workforce after they’ve taken a long break to raise a child.

In a wide-ranging conversation, Tami and I talk about the gender biases built into tracking performance based on hours, how to create an office culture that supports work/life balance, and why we should critique — rather than celebrate — people who indulge in overwork.

Key takeaways from our conversation:

  • Why your work performance drops off a cliff after 55 hours
  • How implementing “core hours” can create more work/life flexibility and limit time spent in meetings
  • Why measuring performance based on hours disadvantages women
  • How parenting makes you better at prioritizing
  • Why we should look at people who “overwork” with a critical eye


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Favorite Quotes

“I would love to see our entire culture start to look at people who overwork as a little bit problematic. Like: What’s wrong with you if you can’t get your work done in a reasonable amount of time. Are you not efficient? Are you not actually competent? How can we help you in your performance? Instead of making it a badge of honor.”

“We’re very all or nothing, we Americans. There’s this sort of macho ideology around putting in long hours, and we’ve somehow have kind of deified busy-ness in a way that I think is really, really detrimental to our physical and mental health.”


A shortlist of the ideas and articles mentioned in our conversation:

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