How Much Can You Work in a Day?

So how much do I work each day? Generally I work from 630am-745am. Then I help get the kids ready for 30 minutes. Then I work from 815am until 430pm.

Do I work continuously? No way. I’m not a robot. I wish I could work 8 hours straight. Instead I’ve found I need a ton of breaks in there. The efficiency experts recommend relaxing for 30 minutes for every 90 minutes of work. That would be wonderful. But also hard to do consistently.

I try to take at least a 30 minute break in the morning and a 30-45 minute in the afternoon. I meditate during these times. I’m pretty useless in the afternoon for anything that needs a high degree of concentration. That’s why I try to take most of my meetings in the afternoon. They re-energize me a bit. I also take other mini breaks to jump around, go outside, write a note to a friend.

I work from home so all of this is easier. I could go into our office more but only do for meetings. We have a distributed team. That’s how we like it.

I try to put in another 30 minutes after dinner. After 8pm I’m super useless for work.

I also try to work each Saturday and Sunday morning for about four hours. I can’t waste those precious morning hours. This is the time where I push ahead more creative or interesting projects as well. So it’s more fun work, usually.

And I only take off a few days each year like Thanksgiving, Christmas, maybe 4th of July. I feel better when I work less each day but more days. That’s how I roll, yo. I can maintain this pace for decades. I have. And I will.

I’m always wondering if people maintain 70 hour weeks for decades without burn out. That would be amazing to me.

Last thought. I know there has been a lot on how amazing the Chinese work ethic is. I like those motivating stories. But for each individual it’s probably not sustainable more then a couple of years. VCs love it though because you often only have a couple of years to prove out an idea. I wonder how effective they are in hours 90-100 at the end of the week. Sleep and relaxation might help for better results. Who knows.

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