Four-Hour Workweek? Try the Sixteen-Hour Workday…

Four-Hour Workweek? Try the Sixteen-Hour Workday...

With all this talk lately about the dream of a shorter workweek, it just convinces me how much spin dominates consensus. One only gets to the 4-hour workweek after years of insanely difficult work.

Even though everyone has dreams of the 4-hour workweek, the fact is that 99.95% of those who have been successful have had to (at least, initially) endure much more than even a 40-hour workweek. That being said, why would someone want to work less if they enjoy what they do? Perhaps an even better and more useful question is, “How does one get to the place of enjoying work?” One answer to that lies in learning how to create opportunities.

When Opportunities Present Themselves

I used to be frustrated because I thought I never had any opportunities. In reality, my attitude was all wrong and kept me from seeing the opportunities before me. Instead of being frustrated, I decided to create my own opportunities. My blog has helped me to accomplish that to a tremendous extent. Consistent blogging has the potential to lead to hundreds, if not thousands of new opportunities everyday. Every new opportunity that has arisen for me in the past few months has been a result of consistent efforts at creating opportunity.

My goal for the past few years now has been to create and develop a successful Internet startup. Over the past eight months, I have remained extremely focused on this goal and have been using my blog as the networking tool to further my progress. I believe the key in becoming successful lies in learning to both seize AND create opportunities. For example, I had been planning to launch Unique Blog Designs for several months prior to designing John Chow’s blog. UBD was an opportunity I created. Obviously, I had a wonderful opportunity to launch UBD when I seized the opportunity to design John’s new blog. Does that make sense?

Creating opportunities enables one to seize more opportunities: it’s the snowball effect. If you can master that, your life will feel like never-ending good luck. In reality, luck is a by-product of capitalizing on opportunities. Recognizing this motivates me to work harder.

The Sixteen Hour Workday

Ever since the launch of Unique Blog Designs, my business partners, Matt Blancarte, Josh Mullineaux and I have been running a bootstrapped office out of my room. Don’t let the large screens fool you, our work is not just fun and games. For almost 3 weeks now, we have been working 16-hour days on what has quickly become an all-consuming business.

Am I serious? 16 hours a day? Here is our typical daily schedule:

1. 1:00 PM: Wake up. Check email.
2. 1:30 PM: Go to the pool. It is 100+ out here in Arizona. The pool is a great way to wake up. Not to mention, aqua skimming challenges are pretty damn fun!
3. 2:15: Lunch/breakfast.
4. 3:00-9PM: Get to work. Usually consists of designing, correspondence, strategy and marketing meetings, other administrative work.
5. 9PM-10PM: Go to gym to work out to relieve stress.
6. 10PM-8AM: Back to work.
7. 8AM-1PM: Sleep and then back to work.

This is what happens 7 days a week, no joke.

24/7 Vacation

Funny thing is that even though we work so much, oftentimes, I feel like I am on a 24/7 vacation. Obviously it is because I enjoy designing and building our business. Work to me is not work; it’s fun. Everyday we are getting closer to our goals, and that is why I work 16-hours a day. (Maybe I should go back and read my article on why balance is important!)

66 thoughts on “Four-Hour Workweek? Try the Sixteen-Hour Workday…”

  1. You must be drinking a lot of coffee!!

    I find that I’m tired from overwork etc my internet work starts to suffer a lot. You should maybe look into outsourcing some of the work you do 🙂

  2. Wow, good reminder to all of us on what self employed actually means.

    I agree with Kevin. I’m nowhere near the level of problogger, and still outsource some of the tasks associated with my blog (such as promotion). I’m sure you can find something to give yourself more time.

  3. Nate,

    Congrats on the recent success. After I read John’s recent post it made me think alot about what you have done. It actually inspired me to write a post.

    Here’s a comment I left on John’s blog.
    “Some went looking for gold….some sold shovels. Nice shovel Nate!”

    I believe there are tremendous opportunities available to those who figure out how to leverage this huge userbase of bloggers and blog readers.
    (not spamming, but here is the post if you wanna read it)

  4. Nailed it Nate!

    It’s easy to understood the popularity of the 4hr WW. A lot of people just don’t like what they do … never really had that problem myself.

  5. When I worked a regular job, 8 hours was an eternity. Now, I work on my site between 10 and 14 hours a day, and it never feels like work.

    I still don’t understand how people can really work 4 hours and get anything of value out of it.

    1. I think those who work 4 hours are either outsourcing their work, and/or regularly creating as many spam pages as possible within the 4 hours.

  6. I obviously don’t enjoy my “real work” enough right now. I feel like I’ve accomplished something big if I bill 6 hour in one day, for PHP Programming – but then I start working on my blogs and trying different SEO things for my websites, and I end up staying up till 3am. I think if I could get to the point where I am working online and generating income from my own websites, so I could write and play with whatever new internet tools are out there, that would be awesome for me.

  7. Hey Nate – I suppose that if you enjoy the work that you’re doing, that’s the main thing. That and also that your health stays good. It’s great to see how successful UBD has become, and your hardwork has made it happen. Can’t wait to see the next chapter in your business!

  8. Nate, this is a great read and really puts things into perspective. It is hard to get out of that mindset that there is some magical 4 hour workday. The best part I think is that you seem to take physical breaks from your work everyday. I think I should do more of that instead of just “working through it”. Nice post.

  9. So you sleep from 8am to 1pm? Wow, I’m on 5-6 hours a night of sleep too, but I don’t think I could get to sleep when the sun is coming up. 🙂 Any reason for that particular schedule or is that just what you like to do?

  10. Trying to work on my thesis and managing my online blogging and other work is just like that – all day every day. My social life has gone out the window!

  11. To me, every hour over 40 hours that you work each week is consider investment into your future 🙂

    I work around 10 hours or more each day too and it going fantastico!

    Keep it up Nate!

  12. When I was starting my business some 9 years ago, my schedule was quite close to the 16 hrs/day, 7 days/week … luckyly now I have decent team working in the company, but still, 4 hour work week 🙂 ? I am not even close to 4 hour work day … and I am not even sure I want to have 4 hours work week

  13. I moved to my own business last year. Since then 12-13 hour work-day has became normal. But is better know and I agree with the comparison on 247 holiday 🙂 Later I had to work even more, because I had my daily work in a corporation and only later some hours for my beloved bussinesses.

    So for all in doubt – this is the best way of living 🙂

    And do not dream of the time when you will have the possibility not to work a lot. You’ll get bored! Believe me – it happened to me and I just got back to my intense week schedule.

    1. I have to agree with this.

      I’ve had plenty of entrepreneurs tell me all about this “4 hour workday” thing and I feign interest and roll my eyes (on the inside). I’ve owned a couple of ecommerce businesses and such now and while a 4 hour workday will produce a sustainable income – it certainly isn’t possible to consistently achieve my business goals.

  14. I find that if I work too long/hard I can burn out too easily. With what I do ATM there is alot of travelling/brain work which really bogs me down. I also don’t/can’t really for a scheduel(?) either. 🙁

  15. “Real Work” could be fun for some people. If you truly enjoyed what you did. Possibly (and the Swiss_Mouse says “possibly”) it could be fun working for others, but unlikely.
    The Swiss_Mouse enjoys his work when he is busy and mentally challenged by a problem. Solving the problem is like a fine cheese.
    Ultimately though, working for yourself on your own projects gives you the most satifaction.
    Congrats to you. The Swiss_Mouse hopes to follow in your footsteps.

  16. I believe it because you are doing my new blog and you’re are working through the night, and I’m sure I’m going to get a kickass new blog at in the next week or so:)

  17. I dont see how people could actually only work 40 hours a week if they like there job, I “work” for more than 16 hours some days, If I didnt need at least 4 hours of sleep each night I wouldnt sleep.

  18. So true… its so much more work than people give it credit for. And even if it does get easier in time.. you’d think you would just do it more.

  19. I so much agree with you on this. I too live by the “if you love what you do then why not do it all day?” – I can’t say that I spend 16 hours a day but at least 12 hours – 7 days a week.

  20. Nate – oh dude do I miss those days!

    I recently pulled a similar situation, but it was working for a startup out here. There is something about working 16 hour days with a bunch of your bros that really makes a strong bond form.

    Hopefully one of these days I’ll be doing the same on my own startup, again. Cheers!

  21. I have to say I probably sound like a spaz, but I’m totally impressed with your drive. When you do 16hr days sometimes you begin to wonder why the heck you’re killing yourself. I find myself in that situation sometimes, but when you break out it is well worth it.

    The funny thing is today I just realized you are only 22 yrs old. Truly impressive. Watching others grow keeps me going. Its nice to feel like there are others in the group striving as well… One of these days I’m going to have to render your services for a site design.

  22. Are the AM and PM in your daily scheduled placed properly (and not swapped! my confusion deepens as Dinner is seen nowhere)…

    Just a joke: this sounds like Gulliver’s Travels tales, Work in Cold and Sleep in Hot…

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