Entrepreneurs and freelancers often think that putting in more hours equals getting more done.
They couldn’t be more wrong. Instead of pushing through into the small hours, I state that you should all shut down daily at the same hour.
I’m sure you’ve had the experience: A long day ahead with lots to finish.
You’re looking at a working day of at least eight hours, probably ten.
IF all goes well.
If there are any hitches or if you need to take an emergency client call (or you screw around too much on Facebook) you might end up stuck to your screen or your workbench 12 hours or more.
Sounds familiar, right?
And so we dig into our day, getting things done and checking them off the list as one does.
An eye on the clock, and at far too many points in the day we wonder if we’ll get it all done within the 10 hours we gave ourselves as a limit.
Most of the time when we have a day like that, we don’t get it done on time.
In fact, practically none of those days ever turn out really productive.
At around 5, our minds and bodies are spent, ready for the rest they usually get at that time.
We start feeling tired.
As the evening wears on, our vision becomes less sharp, we start feeling the tiredness in our bones, our back starts aching.
Our mind switches down a gear.
And basically, in those after-hours we only got done 50% of what we’re usually capable of.
For people in creative jobs, such as designers, artisans or artists – and let’s not forget writers – this is a huge problem.
If your work is mechanical, such as data-entry, you can probably squeeze a few more quality hours out with some AC/DC and a jug of coffee.
But if your work depends on squeezing your brain so that beautiful stuff comes out, you know as well as I do that beyond a certain point, there is no use in pushing on.
Instead, close shop and relax. Have dinner, play with the kids or talk to your wife, and put your work out of your mind.
In the morning you’ll wake up far more rested and you’ll be much more productive.
This whole idea that you need to kill yourself working in order to make it is a big mental trap. A mindfuck, if you will.
Don’t fall for it. Your free time is yours.
You need it. Give yourself the time you need to prime yourself for perfect performance and you’ll see your life as a freelancer get much easier, real quick.