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工作不堪重负?学学华尔街之王怎么度假

leigh Gallagher 2017年09月20日

这位华尔街大亨的休假观从现代角度看也不过时。

今年夏天只剩下几周了,我跟往常一样在办公室忙工作,一边为夏季休假做准备。我准备去海滩休息两周,感觉真的很有必要:今年忙了大半年,秋天只会更忙。唉,就可怜可怜我吧,去年为了赶稿写书一天假都没放。所以今年休假我特别兴奋。

我在学习提高效率,收集了不少妙招、诀窍和策略想把工作做得更好。今年我比以往更看重休假,一开始盘算就回忆起一句我最喜欢的有关度假的名言。这句名言来自华尔街鼎鼎大名的金融家与银行家约翰·皮尔庞特·摩根。19世纪末20世纪初,他曾掌控美国公司金融领域,著名的摩根大通集团正是以他的名字命名,目前摩根大通首席执行官为杰米·戴蒙。

摩根以充满个性且工作狂著称,真实的他比传闻还要强大。20世纪初,他领导下的银行曾推动整个美国经济转型,几乎凭一己之力将全球金融中心从伦敦转移到纽约。此外,让·斯特劳斯1999年出版的传记《美国银行家:摩根传》称,摩根对工作和休息有一套独特的个人哲学。具体来说,他坚信自己“九个月就可能做完一年的工作,用不了12个月。”换句话说,如果一年休息不到三个月,其他时间也没法高效工作。

摩根特别看重休假。传记写到,1912年末,他按照惯例准备了三个月的假期,次年年初先去了埃及,看看他支持的考古发掘。第二站是罗马,参观了在美国人文与科学院任职时资助修建的建筑。接下来,他赶赴法国南部小镇艾克斯莱班,开始一年一度的温泉之旅。摩根就是在那次度假期间离开人世的。1913年3月,他在罗马下榻的大酒店入睡,再也没有醒来,只差几天就是他的76岁寿辰。每年他都认真安排假期。尽管要去美国国会作证,面对普约委员会对他和其他少数金融家——所谓“货币托拉斯”是否过多操控全国金融的调查,他仍然安排了1913年的度假。看上去什么都不能拦住他休假三个月。这也是他成功的关键。

摩根的休假观是相当先进的,哪怕从现代角度看,他的观念也不过时。他可能是喜欢冥想的人。今时今日,这位金融业传奇人物的休息哲学比以往还要重要。现在劳动力大军日渐缩减,科技又十分进步经常可以随时随地办公,不分昼夜也不分周末,甚至可以通过手环工作。根本不可能完全摆脱电子设备。(再加上近来美国政界频传劲爆新闻,我们更是离不开各种设备。)

然而,只有休息好才能更好地工作。偶尔放空大脑,刻意留白,让繁忙的工作日程送一送,哪怕只是片刻闲暇,才有可能想出最棒的点子。洗澡的时候创意多可不是陈词滥调,科学研究已经证明(我最近听说,有人因此在浴室里放白板)。研究证明,做一些相对轻松的事情时,迸发创意火花的可能性会增加。美国畅销休闲杂志Mental Floss的文章称,高负荷的大脑暂停运转时,脑部的前额叶皮层就会感到轻松,潜意识开始自由发挥,尽情徜徉,“产生清醒时不会留意的创造性联想。”当然,还有大量研究显示,良好的睡眠也对大脑休息和提升业绩有帮助(这方面问题可以咨询热心宣传睡眠好处的《赫芬顿邮报》创始人阿里安娜·赫芬顿,她一直认为,人类深陷睡眠不足的危机。)

当然,现在大多数员工无法请三个月假,整日忙碌无比的首席执行官就更别提了。很难想象摩根如果在世,休假时如何应付互联网和电子交易。他会不会带着iPhone度假?会不会通过助理处理工作?会不会在电邮里设置措辞强硬的自动回复宣布他正在休假?我们没了解,只能畅想一下他多么幸运,不必面对种种困难的决定。

对我们一般人来说,还是尽可能从摩根身上汲取一点灵感吧,即使只是少用点手机,少查看几次工作。我不会环游欧洲,去法国泡温泉,只能选择没什么异国风情的纽约长岛海滩度假。但我还是尽可能在内心深处学习摩根。大家都可以做到。首先,不要把休假当成公司福利或者带孩子的任务,要当成照顾自己的方式,如此剩下的几个月里才能把工作干得更好。说到这要抱歉一下,我去休假了。就算要找我,我也不会(经常)查看电邮的。(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

It’s the final few weeks of summer, and like many others this month, I’m wrapping up things at the office to get ready for a summer vacation. I’m taking two weeks to go to the beach and it feels much needed: It’s been a busy year, the fall promises to be busier still, and—yes, I know, play me a violin—I didn’t take a vacation last year because I crash-wrote a book. So I’m particularly excited for this one.

I am a student of productivity, and tend to collect hacks, tactics and strategies to be able to work better. But this year, way more than in years past, planning this summer sojourn has brought to mind over and over my all-time favorite quote about vacation. It comes from, of all people, John Pierpont Morgan, the financier and banker who dominated corporate finance in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and in whose name Jamie Dimon now toils as the CEO of JPMorgan Chase.

Morgan was a larger than life personality and a well-known workaholic, and by the early 1900s, his bank helped transform the U.S. economy and almost single handedly shifted the global center of finance from London to New York. And yet, as documented in Jean Strause’s 1999 biography, Morgan: American Financier, Morgan had a particular philosophy about work and rest. Specifically, he firmly believed that he “could do a year’s work in nine months—but not in twelve months.” Without three months of rest, in other words, he wouldn’t be able to do what he did during the rest of the year.

Morgan was obsessive about that rest. The book describes him in late 1912 getting ready for his ritualistic three-month recess, which in early 1913 would take him first to Egypt, where he had underwritten archaeological excavations, then to Rome to see buildings he’d funded at the American Academy, and after that he’d set off for his annual visit to the springs at Aix-les-Bains in France. Morgan died during this trip—passing away in his sleep in the Grand Hotel in Rome in March of 1913, just shy of his 76th birthday. But he was religious about taking this trip every year—he was planning out his 1913 itinerary even as he was testifying in front of the Pujo Committee, the congressional subcommittee investigating whether Morgan and a small group of financiers—the so called “money trust"—had too much control over the nation’s finances. Nothing, it seemed, could come in the way of three-month trip; it was the key to his success.

It was quite an evolved philosophy even for the time; were he around today, Morgan might be a meditator. But the legendary financier’s rest doctrine is more critical today than ever before. Between workforces being leaner than ever and technology now enabling us to carry the workplace in our pockets—or even on our wrists—at night and on weekends, there is no time for unplugging. (Add in the firehose of shocking news coming out of Washington these days and it’s even harder.)

And yet doing so can enable great things to happen. The best ideas tend to come to us when we shut down our brains, create white space and let a little bit of air in our schedules, even for a few moments. It’s not just a cliché that good ideas come to us in the shower; studies have shown it (I heard tell recently of someone who kept a whiteboard in their bathroom for this reason). Research has proven that we’re more likely to have creative epiphanies when we’re doing things that don’t require much thought. When we shut off our brains, the prefrontal cortex relaxes and our unconscious is freed up to wander and roam and “make creative connections that your conscious mind would have dismissed,” writes Mental Floss (and they would know.) And there is of course also an ample body of research showing what good sleep does to our brain and our performance. (Just ask sleep evangelist Arianna Huffington, who maintains we are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis).

Of course, most employees can’t take a three-month vacation. What CEO could even get away with doing so today? It’s also hard to know how Morgan would have incorporated the Internet and electronic trading into his annual rite of passage. Would he have carried an iPhone? Checked in with an assistant? Put on a strongly-worded out-of-office reply? We’ll never know. We can only fantasize about how lucky he was that he never had to make those decisions.

For the rest of us, let’s try to take a little bit of inspiration from him, even if that only means stepping away from the phone and checking in a little less. I won’t be touring Europe and lounging in hot springs of France—I’ll be on the much less exotic beaches of Long Island—but I’m still going to do my best to try to channel my inner John Pierpont. We’d all do well to do the same. Let’s start to see vacation as more than just a part of our comp package or a way to occupy the kids—and as a way to take care of ourselves so that we can perform better for the rest of the year. Now if you'll excuse, I'm off, and if you need me, I won't be checking email (that much).

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