Why That 12-Hour Working Day Doesn’t Make You A Hero, It Makes You Look Stupid
I need to get something off my chest!
Something that really annoys me!
It’s when people measure success using the wrong metrics. And the one that really gets my goat is that tendency to congratulate and be in awe of the person who regularly clocks up 12-hour days.
I’ve been there and in hindsight consistently working such obscene hours isn’t smart. It’s stupid. And here are five reasons why:
1. Work-life balance
If you’re consistently working 12-hour days in your business you’re going to really struggle to find that work-life balance. OK work-life balance might seem a little distant when your run your own micro business but business is just a game, life isn’t. It’s no good being successful and sick, even worse dead.
Business can always wait, it really isn’t that important.
And if you put work first, whilst you won’t feel it straightaway, those regrets and niggles will happen when you look around and find that little baby you were doing it all for is all grown up and no longer knows you.
Invest in your home and personal life and you’ll always find the energy and inspiration for your business.
2. Productivity NOT busyness
I’ve noticed a lot of people who work “stupid” hours are not very productive. Yes they’ve clocked up a lot of hours, but if you were to get them to write down what they’ve actually achieved in that day, it’s likely to be very little that actually moves them towards their business goal.
Work on increasing your productivity, not number of hours worked. Implement the type of daily disciplines that I talk about on this blog and get the work done. Please stop kidding yourself that staying busy is good for business.
Remember 90 minutes of laser focused work towards your goal is better than 12 hours fluffing about feeling good because you’ve done 72 hours this week and yet still are no closer to your dreams.
Your business may be your passion.
It may be the place where you express yourself, learn and grow. And as such it can be very tempting to spend every spare minute in it.
However you need to stretch your identity. Yes you might be a business owner but you need to be so much more than that. Find and nurture your identity outside of your business because if you’re in it too much, there will come a time where you will get fed up. And that’s dangerous.
Worse still you won’t get outside inspiration on how to improve move your business forward. You need time just by yourself where you can remove your business from you brain and let the ideas come to solve those tough issues that arise when you grow.
This is the reason why you get your best ideas when you are in the shower or sat on the loo.
Consistently working 12-hour days is not sustainable.
In fact it’s a surefire route to fatigue and burnout.
And in this state you’ll find your business will really suffer. You’ll be too tired to think of new ideas. You’ll become more likely to make mistakes. Hey even your moods will be affected and you could find yourself becoming an emotional wreck!
Burnout is no good for your business. Burnout is no good for you.
Don’t let it happen to you. Take breaks during the day, change the scenery and get out of your work environment, finish your work for the day then close you laptop and have some ‘me’ time.
Personally there is nothing better than a bit of rubbish TV to help calm the brain at the end of the day.
5. It’s not necessary
This may be controversial but if you need to work 12 hours each day to run your business, you need to take a long hard look at what you’re doing. If you need to work that hard to make your business work, then your business isn’t working!
Don’t make excuses. If you seriously think you need to keep up those stupid hours, it’s time you looked again at how your business operates to identify what you need to do differently to create a working day that’s sustainable, productive and enjoyable.
There are lots of things you can do (and that I have done) to manage your business in less time. You could:
- Monitor your time to see where it is actually spent.
- Be ruthless and highlight only what you CAN do in your business
- Outsource your bookkeeping, admin, telephone answering, cleaning, ironing, etc
- Spend the remaining time doing only what you CAN do in your business – AND MARKETING
You will be amazed how much time you create when you do the work ONLY YOU can do in your business. Then with the massive increase in profit that comes from focussing on marketing and growing your business the pressure to work 12-hours days again will become a distant memory.
Banish this crazy working habit… FOREVER!
What is the craziest work day you have ever had? How did you ensure you didn’t have to do it again?
Please tell me in the comments below.
Hi, I'm Paul.
Husband of Michele, daddy to Isabella and Jemima, owner of over excitable dog Ben.
I developed SpinLessPlates to be the easiest to use, most time saving B2B micro business management software in the world. If you'd like to save tonnes of time managing your B2B business, simply click here to find out more.