What Kind of Hours Should You Keep?

by Danielle Bloom

2 min read

People who set their own working hours are sometimes tempted to work through the night. However, depending on the goals you set for yourself and business, this may not be the best idea. Estimate how many hours per day you will need to work to reach your goals.

The Hours of Business Owners and General Employees

Data shows that the number of hours worked per week varies depending on whether a person is an employee for a company or an owner of a small business. According to Inc.com, business owners work approximately 60 hours per week, which underscores the notion that no one starts a business to work less – at least initially. As a comparison, the average work week in Canada is almost 37 hours per week. These figures imply that, on average, a small business owner is working 62% more each week than an average employee at a Canadian company.

Splitting Up Your Days and Weeks

The average employee may only have to work five days per week. Business owners, in many cases, work six or seven days per week. Regardless of how many days per week you decide to work, keep at least some sort of regularity to your hours. You may not have the desire or need to work 60 hours per week, but work at least the same amount of hours as the average employee.

Everyone, regardless of employment or business-ownership status, has 168 total hours in a week. From this, you can make a few estimates:

  • Eight hours of sleep per night takes away 56 hours, leaving you with 112.
  • Rounding up, assume at a minimum, 40 hours of work per week. This leaves 72 hours.
  • Estimate three hours per day for eating, showering and other preparations. This leaves you with 51 remaining hours.

From these 51 hours, decide how many of them per day you want to spend on your business. This will largely depend on how big you want your business to become.

The Bottom Line

If you have big goals for your business, you can’t get around doing the work; you simply have to put in the hours. Your next decision is determining how quickly you want to complete your goals. Elon Musk, the famous entrepreneur responsible for companies such as PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, has stated that he works 80 to 100 hours per week, every week. To paraphrase him, if other people are putting in 40-hour work weeks and you are putting in 100-hour work weeks, even if you doing the same thing, you will accomplish in four months what it takes the other person one year to do.

Decide how big your business goals are and how fast you want to accomplish them. Only then can you extrapolate the required amount of work hours you need to put in every week.

References & Resources

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