You can’t work all the time. Unless, you’re an entrepreneur (or a teacher), of course, in which case, you are expected to work all the time. Because working long hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays, is how you prove your passion and dedication to your startup (or your students).
The general thinking goes that if you’re not bleary-eyed and exhausted from working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, then you just aren’t “committed” enough to your startup (or your students) to be successful.
Maybe that’s true. But that’s not a lifestyle I can lead.
I need my sleep and my time away from all things vocabulary-related. I can’t work all the time. In fact, I know that the law of diminishing returns is 100 percent true for me. The work that I do when I’m tired is never my best work; in fact, it’s usually pretty mediocre work. I envy the people who “claim” they can work hard, work long, and work smart. But for me, I can only do two of those things well at any given time.
This is a challenge that I’ve talked about often with fellow entrepreneurs. I find that we’ll chat about our schedules, discussing how hard we’re working and how productive we’re being, not because we’re competing to see who works the hardest, but because we all just want confirmation that we’re doing “enough.”
As an entrepreneur (and as a teacher), we don’t have a boss or a time clock to tell us when we’ve done “enough.” We have to determine that for ourselves, which can be hard, because you always feel like you can do just a little bit more. But you can’t do your best work, if you’re constantly exhausted.
It doesn’t mean there isn’t more to do, but we did the best we could, with what we had and what we knew, and that is enough. Now, it’s time for family, friends, and celebration.
Best wishes for a happy new year!
See you in 2015,
- The Mental Game of Being an Entrepreneur
- The Best Presentation Advice We’ve Ever Received
- The Startup Lessons I Learned from Running a Half-Marathon
- Six Reasons to be a (Graduate) “Studentpreneur”
Have questions or feedback? Comment below or let me know on Twitter @professorword!