Life is Short – Is Working 12 Hours a Day Really Worth It?

Photo credit: Ilham Rahmansyah

Photo credit: Ilham Rahmansyah

My schedule is non-stop from Monday morning to late Sunday night. Besides working like a crazy man I also enjoy writing and recording songs I’ve written. Music was my first true passion. I wanted to be a rockstar. Guilty as charged.

On weekends I try to leave my schedule free for fun stuff. I know burnout is easy. “Fun stuff” for me is spending time with family, spending time in my music and occasionally just doing nothing. It also includes doing the tasks for Mokumax that I have a personal interest in but aren’t necessarily “required”.

Unfortunately for me, on most weekends, my mind won’t rest until I finish some of the tasks on my list. My mind just won’t stop so sometimes it’s just best to bite the bullet.

This past weekend was packed with the normal weekend routine and although it was busy it was good.

I had a free minute so I popped open Facebook. Bad news. A young guy in my community had a massive heart attack and died. Obviously, totally unexpected and tragic news.

Less than 12 hour later there was news of another that had a heart attack and passed away. What? Two guys that were in their 40’s both died in less than a day.

As I was getting ready to start my update for this week I got a text. A good friend of ours just had a massive heart attack. He had 75% blockage of his entire heart. He is alive only by a miracle of God.  Who’s next?!

This has me pondering:

Is the startup life worth it?

Is it worth working long days on a project that may or may not take off? For me, yes. Even if I died tomorrow (hopefully not!) I have a strong desire to do what I’m doing and I enjoy it. My personal belief is that I am called to do “something” and whatever I do I need to do it to the best of my abilities and with all of my heart.

In other words, don’t waste your time unless you plan on giving 100%. If you’re not completely passionate about your project then you’re going to quit. Most businesses fail because the people who started them quit.

The past 24 hours have reminded me that I need rhythm in my life. All work with no break is not healthy for my body or my mind.

My Work-Life Balance Plan

You’ve probably heard “If you don’t have a plan then you’re planning to fail”.  That’s true most of the time. Plans don’t have to be elaborate. My plan is simple.

I’m going to ask myself a simple question when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Will it matter in 6 months if I do this right now?

Personally, I put so much pressure on myself to pack so much into each minute of every hour of every day. I’m an efficiency freak. I don’t want to waste even a minute.

People are amazed at my productivity.  Part of it is my DNA. I have a hard time resting even though I know when I do rest new ideas come more freely to me and I have a renewed energy and excitement for the project.

So, to lay to rest something until later is a huge mental hurdle for me. Asking this simple question reminds me to keep my eye on the big picture.

I am my biggest competition! …and you are your biggest competition too.

Your startup will never succeed if you burnout and quit. Give yourself a rhythm of work and rest. It will keep you sharp, fresh with new ideas and give you endurance to push forward.

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PS. I am also writing on Medium for the Marketing & Growth Hacking publication. Be sure to follow it for lessons on growing your business with no money.

PPS. Check out Growing Our Company By 10,000% in 2016.

Thanks for reading!

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