The 17-hour days

In the recent past I worked 15+ hours almost every day of the week. I had to in order to keep up with the mountain of work. Being a small business means I do everything.

And then I stopped. I was getting a lot of work done but was still always behind. My family was suffering from a severe lack of attention and I was very close to burning out completely.

So I just quit doing it. I stopped working at 6PM every night no matter what. I spent a few hours dedicated to my family everyday. Things got much better.

Last night for some reason (it wasn’t even a big deadline) I worked until midnight. 17 hours all together. Today I feel like I was run over by a truck. The idea of doing much of anything seems like a bad idea. I can tell it won’t be the most productive day I’ve ever had.

And that’s after one night. Now I see all the damage I was doing before by putting in those long hours. The funny thing is since I’ve stopped working so many hours I’m getting roughly the same amount of work done. I’m just less burned out and more productive in the hours I do work.

So what does your schedule look like? Any way to cut out the long hours?



  1. seattlegraphix says

    Good post. When I was running my business I was much like you : 16-17 hour days – feeling burned out and exhausted with a neglected family. I recently accepted a position full time in the corporate world however and have been enjoying and reveling in the much needed break. However last night I pulled an all nighter trying to help my department get past a huge deadline. And yes – like you i feel like I was hit by a Mac truck today. I’m exhausted and more than ready to just go home.

    Hang in there – at least we know better now šŸ™‚

  2. says

    You’re right. It’s usually when I get that burned out feeling that I consider shutting it all down and working for someone else. But, I know I wouldn’t be happy with a traditional job ever again.

    I just had to force myself to stop working so much.

    Hope you don’t have to pull those all-nighters too often.

  3. says

    I am in that same situation. It seems like there are not enough hours in the day to get finished with everything I want to do. I just started telling people they will have to wait because other wise about once a year I am so burnt out I just want to quit.

    It is usually then I take about 2 or 3 weeks off and go golfing. šŸ™‚

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