“Hi John” you say.
I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve been making money in some shape or form since I was 11 years old getting paid $1 per horse stall I cleaned. I became so efficient at it that I was making $6/hr.
Not bad for an 11 year old.
22 years later (I turned 33 on Monday), I’ve been running my own company for almost 2 years. That’s crazy.
But I work a lot.
I don’t work as much as I used to (I was pushing 80+ hour weeks for the first six or so months), but I still work a lot.
Here’s something I’ve learned though:
You have to manage your energy.
A new study recently came out (link) that showed how productivity plummets after working 48 hours in a week.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be as effective as possible.
My calendar can be really busy (this was an especially busy week, but you get the point):
I start work about 530/6am and normally work until about 5pm when my wife comes home. Sometimes I have to work in the evenings.
That makes for really long weeks. I work basically 12 hours every day and then by 1pm on Friday I am absolutely fried. I need two days to recover from my week, and that means it’s directly back into the hustle again the next week.
When I was 24 I could do this (well, when I was 24 I lived in a hippie community in Switzerland but that’s another story all together).
At 33 and married and wanting to enjoy life before I get too old, I can’t.
I won’t ever get away from the hustle. It’s part of who I am.
My wife jokes that if I ever sold my company, I’d take 3 days off and then start the next one.
While the reality is that I’d probably be able to take a month off before I got really itchy and had to start the next business, she’s also right.
I can’t sit still.
And I’m ok with that.
But what I’m trying to integrate into my life is a bit more balance.
Here’s what I’m trying:
- No more than 48h per week of work if I can help it (though obviously some weeks will take way longer)
- Schedule hard stops in my day and stick to them by having other things I love doing on the schedule (bike ride with a friend, go rock climbing)
- All Saturdays are no-work days. Sunday evenings can be used to get ahead of the week, but no longer than 2h of work on Sunday evenings.
We’ll see how it goes.
I’ve realized that being a workaholic is not the way I want to live my life. I want to work hard, make a great living, and have that enable a great boundless life.
That’s my goal.
By the way, I went mountain biking on Monday afternoon, then laid by the lake. It was awesome.