When you run your own business, you choose your hours.
While many people start a business to get a better work/life balance you will likely find that you end up working more hours initially – but this is ok, as it is an investment in your future.
However, you need to be very aware of this only being temporary and refine your systems so that you do indeed achieve your goal of working fewer hours.
To do this, you need to focus on those working hours so that you are making the most of them.
It’s too easy to fool yourself into thinking you are working (particularly online) when you are in fact not being productive. Specific and measurable goals need to be set for what you want to achieve from your time investment for the day.
As I mentioned in my post about defining success, when you are efficient and complete your set tasks for the day you can then take time off to do something else with the rest of the day – you are not chained to a desk like an employee.
Speaking of employment, sadly there are many people working long hours without purpose. While in some professions a period of long hours may be required in order to make partner for example, in others people are just doing this ‘because it’s what you do.’
To top things off, many people are also working extra hours they are not being paid for. While they may have a contract that says 40 paid hours, they might be doing 50 hours a week – in effect giving away 20% of their time for nothing, or accepting a 20% salary reduction from the hours they are paid for.
The hours culture also leads to other issues, where people trying to make a difference to the environment and their health through flexible/home working are treated somewhat less because they are not apparently ‘putting in the hours.’
I’ll post about these issues in the future, but the easiest and fastest way to make a difference to them is not to ‘fight city hall’ against employers but instead just start your own business.