My time can divided into four buckets listed in order of total time (clearly not importance):
1. Vaporware Labs
If it doesn’t fall into one of those buckets, then it’s likely not apart my life over the next few months (probably more). I’ve found that if I’m not at work, at church, sleeping, or spending time with my family, I’m probably still ‘working’. Watching TV but also working. Eating lunch with business partners or at my desk. On the phone non-stop in the car. Scanning emails while brushing my teeth.
I was talking with someone yesterday (Friday) helping us with our upcoming launch. When he said he would get my email “in the morning” I asked, “You mean tomorrow morning?” He responded, “No, Monday morning.” Kind of shocked I wondered why he would let it sit for so long?
Trapped in my own little bubble for the last 6-months, I think I almost forgot what the ‘job’ mentality was like. While working @EA I remember one Friday afternoon when my boss said he had a project we needed to finish. Being young and ambitious, I came in for 6 hours on Saturday and completed it. When I proudly told him about it Monday morning he acted upset about what I had done, even though it seemed urgent on Friday afternoon. I quickly learned that there was little added benefit to working extremely hard in an organization of that size.
That’s not to say I didn’t work hard. I did. I just didn’t loose sleep over giving 110% instead of 120 or 130%. I learned that I could receive review marks in the upper 10% of employees, while still using my extra time to work and think about my own projects. This was the true start of my entrepreneurial experience. I would sit at Starbucks for an hour and a half before work and still arrive before most got in at 9am. I would be the last to leave but work until 2am building my own ideas. Working long hours are not necessarily smart hours (different post), but sometimes it’s a necessary means to getting things done.
As I type this on Saturday morning, the dictator (my son) is finishing his nap, my wife is getting a lesson ready for church, and I’m planning on a great afternoon at the street fair with the family. I’ll wrap up the day with a critical business phone call in the afternoon that could get us 3-steps closer to a major goal, and then some emails in the late evening because startup business hours mean 24/7.