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I am only working 3 hours a day!

ManlyMansNegator

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Recently i began measuring the amount of work i do.I strictly timed my work periods and non work periods.Naturally i thought i would be working 5-9 hours a day straight, horrifyingly i found out that i work 3 hours on most days.

I have tried alot of "tricks" but they just dont seem to work for me , does anyone else have this problem or even a solution??
 

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Kung Fu Steve

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It's not always about increasing the number of hours you work but the amount you accomplish in those hours.

I've always thought it's better to be project oriented instead of hourly oriented. You'll fill those hours regardless of how many (or few) tasks you have to do.
 

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Recently i began measuring the amount of work i do.I strictly timed my work periods and non work periods.Naturally i thought i would be working 5-9 hours a day straight, horrifyingly i found out that i work 3 hours on most days.

I have tried alot of "tricks" but they just dont seem to work for me , does anyone else have this problem or even a solution??
What exactly is the problem? What kind of results are you seeing? Do you delegate?
 
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ManlyMansNegator

ManlyMansNegator

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What exactly is the problem? What kind of results are you seeing? Do you delegate?
I have delegated some key aspects of the work but they are not heavily connected to me.The problem i think is that i do not have a system in place, semi rant tbh.
 
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ManlyMansNegator

ManlyMansNegator

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It's not always about increasing the number of hours you work but the amount you accomplish in those hours.

I've always thought it's better to be project oriented instead of hourly oriented. You'll fill those hours regardless of how many (or few) tasks you have to do.
Hmm but what if it is a task you finish over several weeks? Further break them down?
 

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Some days are like that. Just make sure every day isn't like that. Some of my most productive days have been less than three hours, poolside, remote, on a cell phone and wifi connection.

Shitty "managers" measure success based on hours invested. Smart people measure success by outcomes.
 

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I run into this sometimes. For me it comes down to not planning ahead far enough. For example, if I finish some tasks earlier then expected, but my next action is an item that really should be broken down into multiple steps, I'll wander and waste time. If I start my day and that "next action" is already broken down into more reasonable subtasks, then I'm more likely to be effective for a longer period of time.
 

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I was earning $170,00 per year before going fastlane.

In my career, I managed teams of 10-20 knowledge workers at a time.

Constructively, I tracked their work time like you did your own.

Their work time was approximately 2 and 2/3 hours per day.

I found it interesting that the most productive employees worked the least. Only 90 minutes per day in some cases.

Deep Work is an excellent book on this topic. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

The idea is that if you can control your focus, you can accomplish more in one hour than in a typical day.
 

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Something about this is breaking my brain. Are you trying to work more hours? If so, I understand the compulsion, but you could be focused on the wrong thing. The real questions:
  • Are you getting what needs to get done, done?
  • Are you accelerating toward fulfillment of some goal? Or at least cruising toward?
  • Are you developing assets that are not locked inside your physical body, or locked to your time?
If you're getting those things done in 3 hours a day, you're fine. If you're missing one or more, maybe it will help you decide what to do with some of the remaining 13 waking hours.
 

luniac

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Recently i began measuring the amount of work i do.I strictly timed my work periods and non work periods.Naturally i thought i would be working 5-9 hours a day straight, horrifyingly i found out that i work 3 hours on most days.

I have tried alot of "tricks" but they just dont seem to work for me , does anyone else have this problem or even a solution??
3 hours a day is awesome, good way to not burn out and work 0 hours a day afterwards.
 

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ManlyMansNegator

ManlyMansNegator

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Something about this is breaking my brain. Are you trying to work more hours? If so, I understand the compulsion, but you could be focused on the wrong thing. The real questions:
  • Are you getting what needs to get done, done?
  • Are you accelerating toward fulfillment of some goal? Or at least cruising toward?
  • Are you developing assets that are not locked inside your physical body, or locked to your time?
If you're getting those things done in 3 hours a day, you're fine. If you're missing one or more, maybe it will help you decide what to do with some of the remaining 13 waking hours.
No i am not fulfilling my full tasks , i allocate 5-8 hours worth of life goal related work.I always fall short.
 

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You refer to working 3 hours in the company or on the company.

If you work too much in the company you are an employee.

Instead, work on the company travels in a different time that is the most important.

The creative time of innovation and winning strategies.

This time is not quantifiable and controllable.

It is a spontaneous, free time, from conventions of mere productivity.

This is the time that your mind requires for a certain result and varies from person to person.

It is a time that serves to attract intuition for a certain opportunity.
 
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NewManRising

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I am sorta knew to entrepreneurship and still sort of a wantrepreneur. But I am learning that it is best to focus on the action(s) that cause the biggest impact for the least effort. But, not just in business with everything you do. Or else it is just "busy work" and bullshit. Someone also told me don't focus on money or tasks, focus on outcomes.
 

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It sounds like that 3 hours is a soft limit for whatever type of task you're doing.

Ideally, right now you are building a product or some other capital (forms, website, scripts, repeatable processes, sales tools, etc) that will leverage your work or your company's work. In other words, the same time and effort, but more progress once the capital is in use. At some point, that capital should free up your time entirely... you choose whether or not to come into work this year.

So, possible solutions for hacking out a few more hours. You have things to do and want to spend more than 3 hours on them -- try switching tasks. If you're writing code or something and find that you just can't make progress after 3 hours, stop. Really. If you want to keep working at that point, switch tasks to something that uses a part of your brain that is not worn out. Call a customer/prospect to chat, or write some sales emails, do something creative, or write down plans and strategies to implement later.

If there is really nothing else to do but the one thing you spend 3 hours a day on (rare, but let's entertain the idea), stop anyway. You probably won't be efficient trying to push past this type of limit forcefully. Or, I should say, I never have been, and you might find the same. So stop for a while, walk a few miles or take a nap to refresh/re-energize, and then see if you can do another few hours on your business.

I used to put in 20 hour days while building things up. I can guess that the longer you go past a limit like this, the less you're probably getting done with each hour. That was my experience. I'm very careful about this now, because I've noticed my work is easier, more organized, better, and ultimately gets done faster if I accept the reality of these physical and mental limits to the day.

That's my take. Not sure it will all apply to you, but I hope it helps!
 

Saavik

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Yes if you complete your tasks in 3 hours
Could it be that you allocate yourself 8 hours worth of tasks that you're trying to accomplish in 3?

The thing with 8 hours of work per day is that it's just a number that has been hammered into the public consciousness during the industrial revolution, when someone working in a factory for 8 hours would accomplish (almost) twice as much as someone working for 4 hours. This is not true for knowledge workers, a source of burnout for many employees and a cause for productivity loss in many companies (people killing time on Facebook and such).
 
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ManlyMansNegator

ManlyMansNegator

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Could it be that you allocate yourself 8 hours worth of tasks that you're trying to accomplish in 3?

The thing with 8 hours of work per day is that it's just a number that has been hammered into the public consciousness during the industrial revolution, when someone working in a factory for 8 hours would accomplish (almost) twice as much as someone working for 4 hours. This is not true for knowledge workers, a source of burnout for many employees and a cause for productivity loss in many companies (people killing time on Facebook and such).
Well if i can do 8 hours of work towards my goals that would be beneficial in the long run, thats 56 hours per week and 2912 hours per year ~121 days of pure working towards to my goals.

I spend quiet a few hours just killing time which feels like a waste.
 
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ManlyMansNegator

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It sounds like that 3 hours is a soft limit for whatever type of task you're doing.

Ideally, right now you are building a product or some other capital (forms, website, scripts, repeatable processes, sales tools, etc) that will leverage your work or your company's work. In other words, the same time and effort, but more progress once the capital is in use. At some point, that capital should free up your time entirely... you choose whether or not to come into work this year.

So, possible solutions for hacking out a few more hours. You have things to do and want to spend more than 3 hours on them -- try switching tasks. If you're writing code or something and find that you just can't make progress after 3 hours, stop. Really. If you want to keep working at that point, switch tasks to something that uses a part of your brain that is not worn out. Call a customer/prospect to chat, or write some sales emails, do something creative, or write down plans and strategies to implement later.

If there is really nothing else to do but the one thing you spend 3 hours a day on (rare, but let's entertain the idea), stop anyway. You probably won't be efficient trying to push past this type of limit forcefully. Or, I should say, I never have been, and you might find the same. So stop for a while, walk a few miles or take a nap to refresh/re-energize, and then see if you can do another few hours on your business.

I used to put in 20 hour days while building things up. I can guess that the longer you go past a limit like this, the less you're probably getting done with each hour. That was my experience. I'm very careful about this now, because I've noticed my work is easier, more organized, better, and ultimately gets done faster if I accept the reality of these physical and mental limits to the day.

That's my take. Not sure it will all apply to you, but I hope it helps!
Thanks for the info :).

was it 20 hours straight? or 20 hours sitting at the table?
 

Saavik

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Well if i can do 8 hours of work towards my goals that would be beneficial in the long run, thats 56 hours per week and 2912 hours per year ~121 days of pure working towards to my goals.
Yes, it would be, but is it possible?
I have experimented quite a bit, and I can't concentrate for more than 4 to 6 hours per day. More than that, and my mind begins to wander. And it's getting worse with age. :p
 

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Thanks for the info :).

was it 20 hours straight? or 20 hours sitting at the table?
20 hours of increasing frustration usually. That's why I try not to work for extremely long stretches anymore. The one exception is when I enter a "strange mood" (sorry, Dwarf Fortress reference that probably nobody will get) and can't stop working on something until it reaches a certain state, or I'm just too tired to keep going.

Currently, the only thing I do is work on new products or business ideas. Or speech outlines and things, which are tests for new products. What I find is that I just have to stop at some point. I can keep working, but my work will get slower, less organized, and more painful. If I stop, I'll work better after I am refreshed - either later that day, or the next day, etc.

Certain types of work have their own limits, I think. For example, I have almost unlimited stamina when it comes to spatial tasks - design, 3D, sculpting, etc. For logical and mathematical things I wear out after several hours. For tasks related to scheduling and putting things in order, I'm better off having someone else do it because my stamina for those things is terrible. Probably crossed wire in the brain ;)

So you might find the same... persuasive writing might be less taxing on you than designing systems, and as a result you can spend more productive time on it (and probably be more productive with each minute of that work, compared to another). Or that example may be reversed for you... point is, "work" isn't one thing, it is a variety of different activities, and we have our own preferences and stamina levels for each.
 

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Rabby

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Also worth noting, turn off every "social" trap while working. Things like facebook and even forums should not exist during the time you've set aside for work. If you are going to have unproductive moments during work time, don't spend them on something addictive like scrolling through schadenfreude horror politics posts on facebook. Get some play-doh or a doodle pad and make random art instead. At least that has a chance to redirect your thinking on the problem you're solving, or exercise another productive part of the mind.
 

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One thing that works well for me is lists. It makes time irrelevant. Just list out what you want to accomplish for each day, because really that's what matters. Each thing you check off will provide encouragement to remain productive.
 

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Yes if you complete your tasks in 3 hours
well hey man if ur workload is that brutal, u gotta become brutal.
Boost your health, boost your energy, and your body will give you more mileage.
 

JScott

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Recently i began measuring the amount of work i do.I strictly timed my work periods and non work periods.Naturally i thought i would be working 5-9 hours a day straight, horrifyingly i found out that i work 3 hours on most days.

I have tried alot of "tricks" but they just dont seem to work for me , does anyone else have this problem or even a solution??
On average, I work about 3 hours per day as well. I'm guessing a lot of people only work 3 hours per day.

The key is that -- unlike most people, I'm guessing -- I don't require 8 hours to accomplish that 3 hours of work. When I'm working, I'm focused. I'm accomplishing a LOT. And I'm not doing things that aren't required to accomplished my high-priority tasks.

I'd rather focus hard for 3 hours and then enjoy the rest of my day than spend 8 hours at my computer half-working and half-slacking-off, feeling like I should be accomplishing 8 hours of work, but then looking back and realizing that I've only accomplished 3 hours.

Perhaps that's the solution?
 

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It’s not about how long you work. It comes down to how you work.

I work in 30 minute shifts. I go DEEP in the zone for 30 minutes. This means headphones, white noise only, you literally have to hit me to make me lose my focus. Then take a 5 minute break. Then repeat.

String four 30 minute sessions together like this (2 hrs and 15 minutes including breaks) and your life will change. I get more done than most people around me and I don’t “work” nearly as long.
 
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ManlyMansNegator

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Also worth noting, turn off every "social" trap while working. Things like facebook and even forums should not exist during the time you've set aside for work. If you are going to have unproductive moments during work time, don't spend them on something addictive like scrolling through schadenfreude horror politics posts on facebook. Get some play-doh or a doodle pad and make random art instead. At least that has a chance to redirect your thinking on the problem you're solving, or exercise another productive part of the mind.
I found i spend hours on youtube watching things that do not matter at all,i am going to block it.
 

Bekit

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Recently i began measuring the amount of work i do.I strictly timed my work periods and non work periods.Naturally i thought i would be working 5-9 hours a day straight, horrifyingly i found out that i work 3 hours on most days.

I have tried alot of "tricks" but they just dont seem to work for me , does anyone else have this problem or even a solution??
From reading through this thread, it looks like you are attempting to put in a full day's work, but you're only putting in 3 hours. You're trying to get leverage over yourself to define what you're going to do, and then actually do it. You're not against leisure and breaks, in fact, you're TOO fond of leisure and breaks, and this is delaying your progress toward your goals. So you're looking for a method that keeps you focused and productive in a reliable way for more hours every day, so that you can accomplish more, feel proud of your output, and know that you're really putting in your best effort. You've tried a lot of "tricks," but instead of helping, you still get off track on things you're not proud of, like YouTube. You'd like to get to the point where you can allocate 8 hours of work--and then actually follow through and DO 8 hours of work (not 3).

Am I right?

Story of my life. Super frustrating.

You know what has helped me the most?

Sebastian Marshall's Ultraworking method. Google it. I think you can get the Work Cycles template for free, along with a detailed tutorial video that shows you how to use it in 30 minutes. There are also joint work sessions where you can join other people for extra accountability. The Pentathlon is the coolest thing they do - it's something that incorporates scoring and competition over two ultra-productive weeks.

This is the most insanely helpful productivity method I have ever tried (and like you, I've tried a lot).
 
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