Why the 20 Hour Week is Now as Important as the 50+ Hour Week - A Two Minute Guide to the COVID Era
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Let's be clear about COVID-19: This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.
I could go into the obvious reasons why, but this isn't about politics or mob mentalities.
For now, I'll share some tips for getting through this from someone (me) who has massively increased revenues, gained several new and valuable clients and hired multiple, highly qualified professionals since May of 2020.
If you don't think this pandemic will affect you, you're in denial.
During COVID, having an "off day" or even an "off week" or more, is inevitable. Especially if like me, you have early stage lung disease or some reason that you can never leave the house. If you don't think this pandemic will affect you, you're in denial. You need to prepare for and learn to deal with the "Off" days.
During COVID my advice is to work in cycles. When you're sleeping well and thinking clearly and creatively, work 6 or even 7 days a week. Work 50 - 60 hours when you can. When you are feeling healthy, it's time to go full throttle toward success. Because during the COVID Era, there will be those inevitable days or even a weeks, when you're lacking sleep or focus.
When you are having an off day or week, don't try to force it. If haven't been sleeping well, or you've gone through mental or emotional turmoil, forcing things will result in mistakes. You'll miss things, forget things or worse, be unintentionally dismissive, abrupt or abrasive with your people.
Sometimes doing little or nothing is the best strategy for winning. You just have to make sure you don't lose. You don't lose employees, you don't lose clients, you don't lose anything. You work just enough to keep sustain momentum.
During those off times, you're better off working 3 - 4 hours a day and / or 15 - 20 hours a week. You'll get a lot more done in three good hours, than you will trying to force eight hours out of yourself, when you're physically or emotionally drained.
During such times, exercise, tan, meditate or whatever will help you regenerate. Don't stress over not working (as I used to do!) and just realize what Dr. Schuller said:
"Tough times never last, tough people do."
When you do this, the good days will come back. I've employed this strategy twice since early May. The first time, I worked two half-days in a ten day period. More recently, I took two days off and worked a total of five hours during the next two days. I came back refreshed and energetic and have been rock solid for over a month now.
The takeaway is simple: When you're "On", work harder, innovate more, bring out your very best and the best in your people. Also remember it is critical to make time for exercise and relaxation or you will not be able to sustain your energy and motivation for long.
When you're down, don't force it. Dump your (my) Superman Complex and allow yourself the luxury of humanity. You and everyone around you will be better for it.
Shelton & Steele