Are You Working Too Much? Here’s How Click It Down!

CLIENT CALL:"Rich — just started working here a few weeks ago. I'm starting to get emails from my boss and peers with timestamps of 2:00 and 3:00 AM. Getting nervous here — I am NOT going to work 60-70 hour weeks — what should I do?"


First off — don't worry. There are certain situations where people work crazy hours:

  • Startups - everything is on the line to deliver and the benefit is all yours if you SUCCEED.
  • Emergencies - something is broken and you need to fix it IMMEDIATELY.
  • End Of Projects - everything is coming down to the wire and you must DELIVER.
  • Reduced Staff - you've lost a valuable resource and someone has to do the work or the engine STOPS.
  • S*** Happens - too much work, too many interruptions, too many meetings, you just have to get past this and get back on track.


All of these situations are temporary (for the most part). Unfortunately, a lot of people get locked into a 'busy-busy-busy' mindset and they turn 'temporary' into a permanent situation.


It begins to affect:

  • Your health.
  • Your family.
  • The quality of your work.


1. Just Starting A Job or Project — You need to work some heavy hours to not only learn the lay of the land, but to set expectations for your boss, peers, and team. Say at least 50-60 hours a week for about 90 days. Then you can cull back your hours to a reasonable 40-50.

2. New Boss Or Client — Kick up your hours and visibility and watch what your boss does. Are they an early-bird? Do they stay late? You need to establish the perception of a 'hard-worker' to them and then once built in, you can then cull back your hours slowly.

The whole idea is to work smarter, not harder/longer. But you do have to deliver a perception of working hard so most people don't feel you are short-changing them. It's a weird generational thing — but you have to do it.

Hold the line — if you get questions about your schedule ask them:

"Has the quality of my work suffered?" "Were you not able to reach me in an emergency?" "Am I not always available when needed?"

Their response will always reconfirm your decision to work normal hours. Trust me. If you are in a situation or location where crazy hours are the norm, you might want to reassess what is REALLY important to you — the money or your life.


P.S. Did this article hit a nerve? If so, let's talk. I've worked with many clients who have the same questions — and we developed a successful plan to tackle their insecurities. I schedule infrequent complimentary sessions - catch one today.