Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a post about my average working day. I thought that today it might be interesting to have a recap on what my hours are like now and how productive I'm being. Has anything changed? Let's find out.
Working till 4:00am
Not that much has changed I'm afraid. The main thing I've discovered is that my productivity goes through cycles - and various international time-zones, as it turns out. Right now I'm on 8:30am to 1:00am, but from December till March I was on a fairly consistent 10:00am to 2:30am, sometimes even slipping into 11:30am to 4:00am.
Once I get into one of these cycles it's very hard to break myself out of it. I tried for several months to force myself to work around 'normal' hours but I just ended slipping right back into my old pattern the next day. I've basically learned to accept this now.
It's probably something that varies from person to person but I've found that I'm most productive if I don't try to force myself in to any specific schedule. I've accepted my imperfections.
The Same Number of Hours or More
In the post last year a lot of you commented saying that it seemed like I had a very long working day. Well, not much has changed there either! Perhaps you were hoping that I'd be raving about being rich after a year and only working a couple of days a week?
Starting a business takes a lot of hard work and a ridiculous amount of drive. If you're planning on leaving your job and working for yourself from nine to five, forget about it.
Several people have asked me how I've managed to get set up and land big clients like Virgin Atlantic and Ubisoft within 9 months. To be totally honest I don't think I'm special and I certainly don't think I have more talent than anyone else. However, I do think I've put in as much work over 12 months as some people put in over three years.
Someone who plays basketball every single day and night for twelve months will improve so much that their skill level will be equal to someone who just played for a couple of hours each Saturday for several years.
This is not speculation, you really need to ask yourself: "Is this what I really want? Am I willing to work as hard as I've ever worked in my life to get it?"
Time Flies When You're Having Fun
That last part all sounded a bit serious, so let me lighten the mood a little. When I say to people "I usually work for around 16 hours a day." They always have the same sort of reaction: "OMG No Wai?!" (or similar). The problem here is that when you say '16 hours' to most people they think about being in an office for 16 hours, being told what to do by their boss for 16 hours, sitting in silence and boredom for 16 hours. This couldn't be further from the truth.
I work at home so I have silly comforts like being able to work in any sort of clothes, use my bathroom, my coffee, my kitchen. There's no one to tell me what to do, or how to work. I have three monitors, so on many days I'll sit at my desk with Twitter on one, the latest episode of Lost playing on another and my work in the last one. If I get bored of working on something, I just stop. I don't have anyone looking over my shoulder, so if I feel like screwing around on YouTube for 2 hours then I do.
I work in a way that keeps me absolutely and totally content... does 16 hours still sound like a lot?
Let's put it this way: If money was no object and I could live the rest of my life without needing to make any, what would I be doing? I'd be sitting at my computer, trying to come up with amazing new uses for the web, meeting excellent new people and relaxing doing my favourite things in between.
Oh... wait a second...
If you want to get anywhere in life then you'd better be prepared to work for it. No one is going to hand you anything on a plate - but if you find a job you love, then you'll never "work" again.
If you work for yourself, what are your hours like? If you don't, what do you imagine they would be like if you went freelance? Am I crazy?
Photo by Professor Batty