This book makes a good case for how working harder may do more harm than good. Some quotes from the book:
"In my programs I always ask, 'How many of you get your best ideas–the barn burners, light bulbs, the aha's–while at work?' No one ever raises their hand. 'Which room in your house do you get your best ideas in?' I ask. The response is always the bathroom or bedroom. 'Why is that?' 'Because no one bothers me and I get time to think,' is the usual response….
"The best ideas emerge when people operate out of a different hemisphere of their brain. Normally, at work we do left-brain thinking, which is linear, rational, and logical. But the more innovative ideas come from the right brain, which is more creative and intuitive.
"When I was working for Young & Rubicam Advertising, I decided to do a little research on creativity. I asked 20 of the top copywriters and art directors where and how they got their best ideas. None of them really knew where the ideas came from, but they all knew that they rarely came when they were at the office. And never, they told me, in meetings….
"Does this mean that you should have a bed or a shower in your office? No, but what you definitely should do is take thinking time. People in some of the most high-pressure occupations, like sports for instance, take a time-out. Why? To regroup, reenergize, rethink, restrategize.
I'd like to see more of this type of thinking at my company.