Getting Back To The 40-Hour Work Week WITHOUT The Guilt
Living in New York City in my early 20s, with front row tickets to the 2008 economic crisis, I felt, like most people, the daily terror of potential job termination. How did I cope? To start, I NEVER left the office before my co-workers; if they were “busy”, I was ” busy” too. And, the idea of clocking anything less than 50-hours a week was simply not an option. Sound familiar?
The common misconception is that the more work hours you put in per week, i.e. over 40 hours, the higher your productivity will be. Not necessarily true. On many different levels. And, you don’ t have to read the endless studies that prove this theory wrong to know that burning the candle at both ends is not only unproductive and unsustainable, but can be harmful for you and your business.
As an entrepreneur and Internet business owner, you have different productivity pressures to overcome. These include, among many others, self-reliance and serious self-discipline. If you’re a start-up, you’ ll need to put in the hours, but this doesn’t mean you need to be stuck in the corporate workhorse mentality forever and completely burn yourself out. Don’ t get trapped in your own business. If you work for yourself, there are a few helpful tips for getting back to a 40-hour work week with little guilt and loads of productivity.
Time is Money
We all know this, and as an entrepreneur working on your own time (and, dime), time management may be one of the most important skill you learn to keep your business growing. Lists are your friends. In the beginning of the week, make a list of priorities, similar to that of a business plan, and ask yourself what are the top three things that need to get done each day. Get them done.
Also remember, tomorrow is another day. 9 times out of 10 smaller tasks can wait. And, you’ll rest easier knowing your top tasks are complete.
Ditch the Distractions
As I write this, I hear the constant “bloop” of Facebook Chat, I see the orange Skype pop-up notification on my screen and I smell a delicious dinner cooking downstairs. Common distractions for those of us with unconventional work settings, but also potential productivity killers. Though social media is (hopefully) an essential part of your business, most of us don’ t have to constantly be connected.
If possible, and I know it’ s painful, shut down unnecessary windows (and resist the temptaion to sign back on), block out the distractions the best you can and only focus on the task at hand. Simple advice, but your productivity will be through the roof!
Remember the Rewards
Surely, you didn’ t become your own boss just for economic gain, right? You must have been somewhat allured by the potential flexible schedule, free time and overall lifestyle lift. Remind yourself of the many business-owning rewards! If you haven’ t read Tim Ferris’ brilliant, The 4-Hour Workweek, read it. Chances are you have.
The message is clear: WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER.
Less time working more productively leads to more time to design the lifestyle you set-out to achieve. More time to spend with your family. In the Caribbean. On the beach. Or, fishing. Or, on the beach fishing. Now, doesn’t that sound nice?