Author’s Note: This post and the ideas that accompany it, are a result of my listening to the 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. I highly suggest you give it a read or listen — as soon as possible. This isn’t a book review. It’s a life and perspective overhaul. Just wanted to share the source so you can explore it …
What’s the mantra and daily challenge of entrepreneurs as seen and heard pretty much everywhere?
Ten meetings in one week?
Cash flow trouble?
Do, do, do and bye-bye 40-hour workweek. Say hello to sixty or eighty-plus hours a week and that’s just the grind. It’s normal. It’s necessary. It’s what real entrepreneurs do. It’s what winners do. It’s expectation. It’s reality.
Nothing to it but to do it.
Make it work.
Quit slacking and make it happen.
Believe and overachieve.
The Workweek Myth?
What happened to working smarter, not harder? What happened to being your own boss in pursuit of your dreams? Weren’t we going to make time to be healthy, spend time with the people we love and do the things we had previously been putting off?
It seems like, somewhere along the way, that concept has gotten lost in a swirl of productivity hacks, time management advice and peer-pressure. For many of us, the call to “hustle” has led to burnout and intense guilt when we try to take a break, let alone a vacation.
I’m beginning to think I could adjust my mindset and reap an even happier life as a result. I’m happy with my business and how I spend the majority of my time. However, if I could log less hours at my desk and in turn, get out and travel, be active and experience life away from a screen — why wouldn’t I pursue that potential?
Startup Lessons Learned: Taking Inventory and Redefining ‘Hustle’.
Now, don’t get me wrong because I’m a huge fan of doing more in less time and working during my peak production hours. The concept of working — wait for it — under forty hours per week sounds sort of ludicrous. I mean, this is my second year in business and I’m building a team. Shouldn’t I expect them to BRING IT and put in forty-plus hours a week? Would it be fair to not model what I ask of them by doing the same? Quality over quantity … right?
Maybe we’re hustling with the wrong goal in mind.
Perhaps, we should be hustling to minimize the distractions in our workday and focus on a few — or a couple — things and do them to completion.
Maybe, just maybe, being so busy you can’t sleep — isn’t a good thing or a necessary thing.
A New Approach to Hustle
I’m not saying I have a plan in place to work less at this point. At least, not an official one. Right now, I’m just begging the question with some ideas in tow. Here are practical applications I plan to experiment with over the coming weeks, taken from the 4-hour workweek:
- Limit the information I consume on a daily basis — omit the unnecessary. This means further de-cluttering of my inbox, limiting my on-screen time that is not work related and delegating better.
- Stop spending so much time in my email. That means not looking at it in the morning or after I’m done working for the day. This sounds crazy, I know. I will report back as to how this one goes … I anticipate it being a tough one.
- Delegate more — faster. I still wait too long to hand things off to my team despite their being ready and capable.
- Consistently implement the 80 / 20 rule in regard to client accounts and new business.
- Review all the tools on the 4-hour workweek list to see if I can use any of them to automate and minimize the time I usually waste thinking I’m being productive when I’m not being as productive
- Dream first, dream big and then outline a plan to make those dreams a reality. I’m creating my personal and business “bucket list” and then outlining how to achieve the items on that list. More on this to come …
The conclusion? I’m beginning to think that, despite the move from a traditional work place, some of my thinking — core thinking — may still be traditional. I don’t like that idea so I’m exploring it and I hope you will too.
BIG IDEA: Let’s redefine hustle to meet better meet OUR needs, goals and dreams.