My business partner, Steve Bristol, and I really used to put in major hours the first years of the company. We were working 80+ a week. After working ourselves to a point of being burned out we realized that if we put in 40 x 2 hours the company didn’t move forward 2x faster. In fact those extra 40 hour were less productive than the first 40 hours. The reality is you’ll never be “done” with your work, you’ll never finish all the tasks, build all the features and have the perfect design. At the end of the day, around 4 pm, we close our laptops and go home.
David Hauser, a founder of several startups, talked to other entrepreners about what they wished they knew before working at their first startup. The above advice by Nick Francis, the co-founder of Help Scout, is something I always need to remind myself to do, which is to make sure that any extra hours you put in are being used effectively. If they’re not, shut it all down, and do something better with your time, like sleep.