Why Your 100 Hour Work Week isn’t getting you anywhere & What The World’s Most Successful Are Doing Differently.
Brands aren’t just reserved for big corporations with fancy slogans and million-dollar PR Campaigns.
As a matter of fact, each one of us has a brand. From what we say, to the way we dress, to what we choose to eat, to the teams we support, to the people we date — each one of these data points allows someone to conjure an image of us, which then becomes our brand identity in their mind — flawed or not, it’s just how it works.
For the last 10 years or so, my brand identity has become “peak-productivity.” Whether someone hates me or loves me, everyone knows me as the guy who “rarely sleeps” and does “more than humanly possible.”
For anyone that has a defined brand identity, the question that usually follows is:
How do you “really” do it?
I’ve learned to be picky whom I share my “secret” with, but since you signed up to this newsletter, I’ll give it away:
…so here it is:
When I work, I work.
That’s it. 5 Words.
These are not only the 5 magical words that I abide by, but also some of the most well-known guys who are known to be productive, and I mean scary productive.
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Sacca — (the guy who invested early in some small companies called Instagram, and Twttr — as it’s 102nd user) and he told me about a guy he met by the name of “Trav.”
He told me he’d never in a million years compete against him because he’s“too good.”
“He doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t lose focus. He will even forget to eat. He executes again and again, inspiring those around him to have the same passion for the end game as he does.”
“Trav” went on to found a not-so-small company called Uber.
I’ll make an educated guess here because I’ve had the privilege of speaking to some of the brightest minds in the game:
Do people like Trav work crazy hours? Fuck, Yes.
Do they work more hours than you? Probably not.
So, what’s the secret?
When they work, they work.
Let me explain:
One of my classmates from Law School recently hit me up about starting a business on the side and told me he’s struggling to find time and he really needed me to help.
I called bullshit on his time issues.
The first thing I did was time every activity in his day to a T.
Here’s how some of it looked like (Redacted for privacy):
- Social Media Browsing: 157 minutes
- Texting: 81 minutes
- Watching YouTube Videos: 74 minutes
- Reading articles: 81 minutes
That’s over 6 hours of meaningless tasks.
…but he was not in uncharted territory here.
As a matter of fact, a study published by Inc. showed that the average American worker works a bit less than 3 hours each workday.
Am I advocating that we all should become work slaves and sacrifice everything to clock in more time?
I’m pointing out the caveat here: My friend was clocking in 12 hours at his startup, and the people in the Inc. study were clocking in an average of 8.8 hours of “work” at the office, but a mere fraction of that was actually spent doing any of that.
This was time they were not spending with their families, not vacationing, not relaxing, not meditating, not going to the gym, nor doing any (and I mean no) other activities that they’d usually do if they were not working.
So they were depriving themselves of the things that they’d rather do, but they weren’t doing anything at all…
Here’s the full kicker:
Peak performers aren’t more productive because they work longer hours.
They’re more productive because when they’re working, they’re actually working.
This is as true for Olympic athletes as for founders of successful companies.
When they’re working they don’t give a shit about the flashing of their iPhones or that little
symbol that protrudes into all aspects of modern life.
(Do you think Musk would have invented Tesla and SpaceX or Susan Wojcicki would’ve acquired YouTube through Google if they got distracted every time someone slid into their DMs?…just imagine)
They make up their mind what to focus on, and then do it.
So the next time you start putting in some effort and decide it’s time to kill it:
- Try closing out of every tab
- Putting your phone on “do not disturb mode,”
- And just relentlessly focusing on the task at hand like your life depends on it. (I call this “GOD MODE.”)
The minute you decide it’s work time, enter in a different “zone” whether it means working in a certain room, wearing a certain shirt. I don’t give a shit. Just get into it.
Do this for 66 days straight (yes, that’s a scientific time-period it takes for a new habit to form).
Then, tell me how much shit you’ve gotten done before you say “you can’t do X because you have no time.”
ps. In case you end up building the next UBER, let me know, that way I can invest early.
You must fall to rise.
You must break to recreate.
A sword must be forged in fire.
Be the sword my friends.
Here’s Your Challenge for the Week:
Eliminate this phrase: “I don’t have time for that.”
- Decide it’s time to get work done 100% — no half ass commitment
- Remove all distractions.
- Relentlessly focus on the task at hand — Get in the zone with it.
- Ritualize this process for 66-days straight — again, the scientific timeline for new habits to form.
Now you can say, “I’m going, or not going, to make time for that.”
When you work, you work.
Remember: The more you Get Shit Done, the More Time you have to create the Life You Truly Desire — the one you’re imagining right now.
And yes, I have my own podcast, The Enlightened Millennial. Check it out here.
Strength and Honor,
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This Newsletter is brought to you by AZOTH, a productivity-driven nootropic supplement company dedicated to enhancing human productivity, optimizing peak mental performance, and pushing the boundaries of human potential.
Work Life Balance Of The 1%: Being Obsessively Biased Towards Execution was originally published in AZOTH on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.