A famous quote from Laurie Greiner is: “Entrepreneurs are the only people that work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” And this is oh so true. But 80 hours a week is not good, you shouldn't work that much. It’s not it’s not good for your health it’s not good for your work.
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Studies have shown that productivity drops off significantly after 50 hours of work. So you may be working 80 hours but you’re probably getting the quality work of maybe 55 hours. Which means that’s 25 hours wasted, that you could’ve been enjoying life and/or taking better care of yourself. You could have been working out or visiting friends and family instead of wasting it on low productivity hours that don’t actually make a big a difference in your business.
Take into account the 80/20 rule, where 80% of what you produce comes from 20% of the work. Meaning 80% of the profits come from 20% into work. So to get the most out of your productive 50 hours, you need to focus on that 20% that is going to make a difference. Don’t bother is low reward actions. Those actions are bullshit and are not helping you.
If it something that absolutely must be done, like an administrative task, consider outsourcing. Think about how much your time is worth and see if outsourcing would provide a savings. So if you are working crazy insane hours you need to stop you shouldn't work that much, work smarter, not harder..
Recognize when you’re being most productive and when you’re not being productive and stop working. Go do something else for yourself, go work out or make plans with friends. You are a human being, not just a business. Which means you need to take time to take care of yourself. It’s probably one of the biggest struggles that business owners deal with. At least it’s a struggle for me.
And I found the more I cut back on all the bullshit and I cut out time from activities such as Facebook (kill newsfeed is an excellent extension BTW) the better my business does. My business is doing better as am I.
I encourage you to stop working so much. You may be surprised that when you focus on what’s most important and you let other things go your business will boom and you’ll feel a lot better. You’ll feel less stressed, more rested, and happier. Remember, being able to dictate our lives and the way we live them and our schedules is probably part of why we decided to be our own bosses anyway.
So don’t sacrifice the reason you decided to be your own boss. Take advantage of the lifestyle you’ve created by being self-employed. Do the 20% that matters and do it really really well but if the other 80% doesn’t get done it’s OK because it doesn’t matter as much.
Business is not a contest to see who can work the most and you don’t automatically earn more by working yourself to death. Take care of you and your business by only focusing your limited time on the really important tasks that you do extremely well. Consider outsourcing anything else.
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Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and Magnify Money. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and Nerd Wallet.