In his latest online column for Time magazine, Drucker Institute Executive Director Rick Wartzman writes about New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s secrets of success.
“I always tried to be the first one in in the morning and the last one to leave at night, take the fewest vacations and the least time away from the desk to go to the bathroom or have lunch,” Bloomberg said last week during a radio show.
Wartzman notes that “the bathroom bit” has received quite a bit of attention, including quips on Twitter, a la “Mind over bladder.”
“As for [Peter] Drucker,” Wartzman says, “I suspect he would have had mixed feelings about the mayor’s remarks.”
Drucker “knew how easily people mistake clocking long hours with generating meaningful results,” and he “also understood that there was a physical dimension to all jobs—even office jobs—and that people need to vary their routines throughout the day.”
“Clearly, holding it in would not have been Drucker’s preferred standard of excellence,” Wartzman writes.
“Still,” Wartzman adds, “in his own off-the-cuff way, Bloomberg did hit on something that Drucker would have fully endorsed: the need for people to find—and safeguard—concentrated periods of work.”
To really get things done, you need “a fairly large quantum of time,” Drucker wrote in The Effective Executive, his 1967 classic. “To spend in one stretch less than this minimum is sheer waste. One accomplishes nothing and has to begin all over again.”