He suggests that productivity is not related to expending more time but through more energy. Drawing on a physics analogy, Schwartz argues that energy cannot be created but it can be made available through a process of conversion.
If you manage your energy well you can get more done, in less time, more efficiently. The more energy you have the greater the capacity you have.
This is in the context of creativity and the creative enterprise. He argues that you can systematically build positive emotional energy as easily as building a bicep.
He actually draws on the value of attention (the philosopher Simone Weil discussed the value of attention) and how absorption in given activity draws the creative impulse out.
He demythologizing the work ethic built from the industrial revolution. We are not meant to operate the same way our digital devices do. And when we try to replicate them, they end up running us. Physiologically we are designed to operate between renewing and expending energy; more pulsating then linear. If we do not naturally renew, we will do so artificially through coffee in the morning and wine in the evening.
He suggests the ultradian rhythm which is a process of rest periodization. It is overided through natural hormones such as cortisol and artificial stimulants like coffee. Align with the ultradian rhythm. Practice renewal and recovery. The more emotionally fit you are the quicker you recover. Sleep is the most important thing to get right and the most basic thing we all get wrong.