I had always worked 60 hour weeks.
But I wanted to do more, so I started working 80 hour weeks. It felt sexy and self-righteous to cut out weekends and social events.
I was beating everyone.
And that’s when I decided I wanted to push 100 hour weeks.
Let me explain something really important about this.
The difference between 60 and 80 is not the same as the difference between 80 and 100.
At 60 hour weeks you’re sacrificing some social stuff, but there’s still time for a relaxing weekend.
At 80 hour weeks, your weekends are gone so you’re sacrificing almost if not all of your social activity.
Here’s where it gets crazy.
At 100 hour weeks, you’re now forced to sacrifice really basic needs like exercise and sleep.
You’re basically getting 5 hours of sleep each night and immediately beginning work when you get up.
There are a lot of internet people who talk about hard work, long hours, and the sexiness of competing for who stayed at the office the longest.
I’ve worked all of these styles and I can tell you that there is a huge trade off when you exceed 80 hour work weeks.
Sacrificing all social events and interactions means you have no support network or way to vent, verbally process, or feel connected.
Sacrificing exercise means your health risks go up and you don’t have recovery hormones making you feel positive and energized all day. Enter; the risk for a coffee, cigarette, or other stimulant addiction.
Sacrificing sleep means your body can’t recover as it normally would from mental or physical exertion.
All of a sudden, you’re making stupid mistakes that create more work.
But weren’t you working all this time to get ahead?
Now you’ve got a problem. More work and less capacity to finish it.
The point is that there’s a tradeoff and you have to find your sweet spot.
If you’re serious about living a productive life that helps others and improve our planet, you’re going to have to be responsible for your own sustainability.
This means finding out your limits and working backward to hit your stride.
Stop listening to the internet celebrity B.S. and start listening to (and measuring) yourself.
No one else is going to tell you what’s optimal for you. You have to get out there and figure it out.
2 Minute Action
Take 2 minute to reflect on the amount of sleep you’ve gotten for the last week.
Set a sleep goal (high or low, it doesn’t matter) for this week.
Set a reinder for each morning to notice how you feel with that amount of sleep each day of this week.
Reply here and let me know what results you get. There’s no right or wrong with this, I’m just curious what is working for you.