The 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, white collar workers' schedule has been a constant into our lives for the past few years. The regular work week would have 40 hours, with a couple of weeks dedicated to a much-deserved vacation. Things, however, have evolved over the years. 60 is the new 40 now. Yes, there are people who work 60 to 100 hours a week, and they are found mostly company leaders who cannot afford to stop the grind and rarely go on vacations. Of course, there are those who clock in 15 hours a week or less. They are the entrepreneurs whose freedom most daily job employees only dare to dream on.
If you are a freelancer or an entrepreneur who has started his own company, your work schedule might be a little hectic in the beginning. It takes some time to adjust to the new rhythm and challenges, and there is no right or wrong way of doing things. It's more of a trial and error approach you will need to test and figure out for yourself.
Are You Overloaded With Work?
If you live in New York, you probably feel the pressure of doing a lot of overtime as a means of proving you are a hard worker who deserves the praise and attention of your fellow colleagues or bosses.
If you have just started a new business and you are an entrepreneur or a freelancer, you will need to clock in quite a few extra hours working on a daily basis. You need to set the ground for your business, build a strong database of clients, develop your products and services, figure out what are the most efficient marketing techniques, finding the best suppliers and the list goes on. Of course, if you also happen to love what you do, you should not have a lot of problems spending a few extra hours working every day. You could easily spend we are talking about at least 10 to 12 hours at the office, be it a co-working space in our Soho building, in your own private workspace, or somewhere else. As an entrepreneur, one of your main advantages is related to the specific type of freedom you are going to enjoy working at your own pace, for yourself. What most people do not realize is that, more often than not, an entrepreneur will need to spend even more time working toward their goals compared to business managers with a brick-and-mortar company and lots of employees he needs to lead. There is a minimum number of hours that an entrepreneur needs to spend working on their projects on a daily basis, depending on the specific needs of the business. Add the constant need to check your email, phone or text messages – and the time spent doing it – and you should see more hours adding up to your regular work schedule. Mental distractions associated with work stress also take a lot of our time, even though we cannot actually count the time we spend worrying, making plans and figuring out how to grow our business. Establishing clear lines between work and spare time is more difficult to achieve for a freelancer or an entrepreneur. Lots of entrepreneurs will also spend part of their vacations working from remote locations.
Accordingly, most people will have a hard time figuring out exactly how many hours they spend working on a weekly basis. Emergencies, last-minute projects that need to be completed, urgent deadlines coming near – all of these elements are making it more difficult for people to completely unplug and leave work aside.
How To Work Smarter
Is working longer hours a good idea in terms of work productivity and efficiency? Not really, according to professionals. The trick is to figure out how to work smarter, not harder. John Pencavel of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research claims the more hours we spend working, the less productive we might get- and this is never good news. One of his studies clearly states that the output of employees tends to drop after working for 50 hours a week, just like a professional locksmith might reach his peak and start a declining curb after spending lots of extra hours working at a complex master lock system for a commercial building.
As human beings, we are not “programmed” to operate the same way as computers work. We cannot work at high speeds and maximum levels of productivity 24 hours a day. We need to learn how to balance periods of intense effort with genuine renewal (breaks, walks, lunch spent away from the workspace).