January 2012: Stop Working Late

My first monthly experiment is going to be a big one. I’m going to stop working late.

I have a nasty habit of working way too much. I think it started about 12 years ago. I worked at a startup where most of the company worked 80 hours a week. The company culture was pretty intense, and putting in a ton of hours was a matter of pride for a lot of us. Of course, all work and no play isn’t sustainable. I got burnt out and quit.

I’ve been running my own company for the last 8 years. Of course, part of what made entrepreneurship attractive to me was the flexibility. At least, that was the idea. I didn’t have to work crazy hours…unless I wanted to.

So, how has it worked out? Not well. [Read more…]

My First Week Without Working Late

It’s been a very interesting ride so far.

It’s Friday night and I’ve just finished my first work-week since taking on the Stop Working Late experiment. My rule for the month is to stop work at 5:00, no matter what. To many of you, this might not seem like a difficult challenge. For me, it’s a huge change from what I’ve been doing. Lately, I’ve been working from before sunrise to long after sunset, often pulling all-nighters.

Working that much is not good for your health or your relationships, or even for your business. Eventually, no one is getting you at your best.

I chose to do this experiment in January for two reasons.

[Read more…]

Stop Working Late – Week 2

Stop Working Late

Success, Priorities and Breaking The Rules

I went into this week carrying some good momentum from last week. For the most part, I kept the good momentum going…until Wednesday.

I knew there was a chance I’d slip up this week, but it didn’t happen the way I expected it to.

[Read more…]

How To Stop Being a Workaholic

Stop Being a WorkaholicAt the end of 2011, I was keeping a secret.

I’d been running my consulting firm for 8 years, and business had never been better. I should have been ecstatic, but I wasn’t.

My secret was that I was miserable. My work/life balance was a joke and it wasn’t getting any better.

The problem wasn’t related to the work itself. I love the work, love my clients, love my colleagues.

The problem was that I had become so engrossed in the work that I was neglecting the rest of my life.

I had become a workaholic.

Hard Worker vs. Workaholic

There is a crucial difference between being a hard worker and being a workaholic.

[Read more…]

Stop Working Late: Before & After

I’ve talked a lot about how the Stop Working Late experiment has changed my life. I was walking out of my office today at 5:00 and it really hit me that everything about my days are so much different than before. I thought it would be interesting to take you through a typical work-day in my life, both before and after this experiment.

I should mention that I work from my home office most days, and not all of my days are the same. This is less about one specific day and more about the new patterns that are emerging. The changes are pretty amazing.

[Read more…]