No, this blog entry isn't about working during the weekend to be more productive. On the contrary: start early to finish earlier.
I read all too often that being an entrepreneur and owning a startup is about hustling, working 24/7, always thinking about business and other exaggerations. Oftentimes, I have also read that the weekly grind absorbs you so much that you've got to work on the weekend to be able to be more creative and free from too many notifications or external distractions.
You should work when you feel most active
I, for one, tend to spread my working hours along the day and the week. It makes no matter whether today is Sunday and I am writing a blog. If I work today, I probably have slacked off during the week at a given point.
I don't conceive entrepreneurship, or owning a business per se, as something so demanding as to make me work 24/7. That's a rookie mistake we all have done when we started. We think we always need to work more and stretch the hours to meet the goals and deadlines.
That is, as a matter of fact, short-sighted. By working longer shifts and being "always active" you increase the risk of burnout and the quality of what you produce will decrease dramatically. Think long-term.
Here's my rule: work when your body tells you to, rest when your body tells you to.
Contrary to what you might think: the more I rest, the more I want to get back to work, the better stuff I produce, and thus the more satisfied I am at the end of the day. Rinse and repeat.
Take advantage of your flexibility
We conceived MarsBased as a distributed team from the very start. One of my partners, Jordi lives in Balaguer, deep in the Catalan countryside, and I travel a lot. Why should we need an office when we were only three and only our other partner - the CTO - would be in it all day? What a waste of resources!
After two years, we are ten people strong and we still do not own an office.
We truly believe that by allowing our employees to choose when they want to work and where they want to work from we would boost their happiness. Well-rested and happy workers produce better.
Therefore, I do take advantage of this situation all the time: I fly on regular weekdays to find cheaper tickets and then compensate during the weekend, for instance. Or else, I take half a day off because I need to solve a family issue and I don't really care about putting extra hours if my weekly goals have been met.
My regular schedule is weird, but it works wonders for me: I wake up around 10 or 11am, work for a couple hours (mostly meetings) then I go to the gym when it's less crowded, between 1 and 3PM. I work while I eat well past 3PM (business lunches or else I write/read stuff) and then - if my agenda allows me - I take a power nap (under 20 minutes). I resume work at about 4 or 5PM and then work until my body tells me to stop. No pressure on counting the hours.
The bottom line here is that working more does not mean performing better.
A tip for productivity: don't waste the weekend away
Although I don't cherish the idea of working on weekends, I find that Sunday afternoons & evenings are ideal to work and get a head start on the week:
- Sundays are oftentimes lazy days that you spend slacking off on the couch.
- Nothing's open, nothing works.
- If you work, no one will interrupt you.
- Emails sent on Sunday will be placed on top of the recipient's inbox on Monday morning.
Those are just some advantages of putting in two or three hours on Sunday afternoons. I mostly use it to plan the week ahead and send some critical emails. I also use them to finish stuff I left on Friday because I was too tired and needed to recharge batteries.
But above all, if I work on Sundays is because I want to leave early on Friday afternoons and start the weekend a little bit earlier!
I reckon this advice is not for everyone, but I hope you found it useful and that you will share your productivity tips in the comment sections below!
Now Playing: Green Carnation - Light of Day, Day of Darkness.