How Many Hours Should You Work?

stock-photo-49289624-walking-business-peopleMichael Hyatt recently wrote a post about how many hours one should work. He says:

“How many hours a week do you work? I know there are times when you’ve got to crush it, but I’m talking about regularly. Forty, fifty, sixty hours?

One study I’ve seen says that most professionals actually work more than seventy, given how much time they address business communication on their smart phones. As far as I’m concerned, anything over 55 hours a week is too much.

When I say that, I’m surprised at how many people object and say they don’t have a choice. Their boss demands it, or the kind of work they do (corporate leadership, retail, or the restaurant business) requires it. They feel like they’re held hostage. And they are, but to what?

When it comes to people in this predicament, I’ve never run across a situation where someone held a gun to their head. But that’s exactly where the problem is. They’re almost always being held hostage by limiting beliefs.”

He then goes on to identify some of those limiting beliefs. He touches on some ideas to deal with bosses who might demand more of your time than you should give. His thoughts on how you can transform some self-limiting beliefs have merit and in many situations they may well work.

When some else is the boss however you may be limited in how much you can cut back your time. This is especially true if you have been working long hours for some time. Employers expect at least continued performance. For many performance is seen as time put in. This is unfortunate because we have all seen “busy” people who put in long hours and get less done than more efficient people who get more done in less time.

If a boss will not allow you to reduce your hours you are faced with a choice. You can try, as Hyatt suggests, to use some creative approaches to get more done in less time and hope that your boss will appreciate the efficiency. But if he does not, you may have no choice but to look elsewhere for a job that is not so demanding of your valuable time and does not interfere with your family and personal life.

For others who control their own time, perhaps to build a business for example, the challenge is to limit the time you put in and still get done what needs to be done. Greater efficiency may help, but there comes a point where efficiencies run out and more time is needed to get it all done. Or at least that is what you tell yourself.

Assuming you are as efficient with your time as possible the question then becomes is the price you pay by long hours at work worth the return? That is a question only you can answer.

Hyatt is right however that if you give too much time to work and neglect your health and your relationships it will not pay off well in the end. A balance must be struck. For those starting businesses or running their own show this can be a very difficult challenge.

What do you think? How much time should you devote to work, whether for someone else or yourself?

Read the remainder of Hyatt’s post here. Then come back and let us know your thoughts on this.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.