Why working long hours is a hoax

breakfast at your desk

I can remember back to my corporate days when the hours people worked was a major point of discussion in the office. Management and staff would really pay attention to when people arrived at the office, and when they left. It kinda seemed like they didn’t really care if they were actually working, or just staring at a screen, but that they were in the office. The original ‘FaceTime’. Personally I think it is one of the most ridiculous things to emerge from office culture. You’d hear people explaining their office FaceTime regime:

‘I like to come early and leave early.’

‘I prefer to arrive late and stay late.’

I’d always counter this with my preference of coming later and leaving early. While they all thought I was kidding, it was the truth and I pretty much did just that. I guess I missed out on many career promotions because of it, but at least it helped me find my true path as an entrepreneur, author and running my own startups. I’m glad I’m not in that world and here’s my theory on the number of hours we work:

Reasonable time is enough time to achieve big goals.

It is not the hours we put in, but what we put into the hours. I’m living proof. I’d add that once you stop wasting your time in pointless meetings about upcoming meetings, and alignment sessions, it’s amazing what can be done. When you decided and then do, you basically invent time. An idea happens at 10am (remember I start late) and you implement by 11am, then finish by 12pm (remember I like to finish early). Do this and you’re probably months ahead of every company you ever worked for.

And in the words of the great Brian Tracy, the worst use of time is to do efficiently something which ought not be done at all.

You should totally read my book – The Great Fragmentation.