There I was, 23 years old, burnt out, broke, and doing everything I can to keep my fledgling business from collapsing.
I was the typical start up founder:
Working until 2 or 3am
Not eating healthy
Ignoring relationships and cutting friends out of my life
Spending every waking hour working on my business and/or worrying about my business
It was absolutely brutal, but that’s the price to pay for starting a company in your twenties, right?
It wasn’t until I went on a long before planned trip with my mom to Utah for her birthday that I realized just how wrong I was.
On this trip, I reflected on my business, on my team, and on my personal choices up to this point.
I realized that my business was struggling because I wasn’t being the person capable of running a 7 figure business. If the pilot goes down, the plane goes down. And we were going down fast.
I had an epiphany; for my business to succeed, I would need to change who I was as a person. From that point on, I implemented key disciplines into my life that changed everything.
The most VITAL one being what I call:
The Hard Stop
The hard stop is about setting rules for the hours you work in your business. Here was mine:
No working past 6 pm (that means no emails, nothing)
My business skyrocketed. Within two years of implementing the hard stop, we went from sub 6 figures to $5,000,000.
Not only did my business benefit from this hard stop, but my life improved 10X.
I became the healthiest I have ever been
I started reading 3 books a month, thus growing faster than ever
I made time for family and friends
I became the happiest I have ever been
Burn out wasn’t a thing anymore
AND I actually was more effective and WAY more productive in my business
This increase in productivity is based on Parkinson’s Law.
Tim Ferris describes this phenomenon in his book, The Four Hour Work Week:
“Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. It is the magic of an imminent deadline.”
If you are given 24 hours to complete a task, the time pressure forces you to execute so you have no choice but to focus on the most critical aspects. Thus, you usually produce better work in a more efficient manner.
Mr. Ferris goes a step even further than I did, suggesting to test out taking Monday or Friday off and stop work at 4pm every day of the week.
Cal Newport, best selling author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, also follows this hard stop rule. He rarely works past 5–6pm on work days and rarely works weekends.
His research has found that down time allows your subconscious mind to process information and can actually lead to better decisions and ideas.
Jeff Sutherland further backs Cal Newport’s research in his book, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time:
“Working too hard only makes more work. Working long hours doesn’t get more done; it gets less done. Working too much results in fatigue, which leads to errors, which leads to having to fix the thing you just finished.”
He states that working late isn’t a sign of commitment, it is a sign of failure.
The hard stop works. It’s been proven time and time again, by some of the most successful people in the world.
Do yourself, your business, and your loved ones a favor and try this out for a week.
See how it affects your productivity and your overall life. Once you get good at the weekday hard stop, you can implement further stops like not working on weekends and vacations. It can drastically improve your life, just like it has mine.
Want help implementing this hard stop (and other small disciplines) in order to 10x your performance and be happier?
I’m here to help. Click here to book a free 1 hour strategy call.