Working 90 Hours a Week
When Bailey was working 90-hour weeks, he got a lot done, but only during the first few days of the week. After that, he didn’t have the time or mental space to recharge, so his productivity dropped.
In the long-run, working long hours pushes you to procrastinate more, work less efficiently, and causes you to get less done. In fact, after 40 hours, Bailey reported that your marginal productivity begins to drop, until at approximately eight 60-hour weeks, the total work done is the same as what would have been done in eight 40-hour weeks. And with 70 and 80-hour weeks, you reach the break-even point in just three weeks.
Why does this happen? When you work excessive hours, that extra time has to come from somewhere, which may force you to push away the very things that reenergize you, like working out and spending time with loved ones. Then, you begin to fight a losing battle, and become stressed out, unmotivated, and ultimately less productive.
Bailey suggested that instead of working longer, work smarter. Step back from your work: spending more time planning (not just executing), scheduling less time for things, guarding and nurturing your energy levels, and reminding yourself of what’s most important.
Living in Isolation for 10 Days
Living and working without people interrupting him didn’t help Bailey’s productivity either. At the end of this experiment, he said hewas less productive than he would have been normally. Everyone has a different definition of productivity, but most of the benchmarks Bailey uses involve people, such as how happy he makes other people, and the difference he’s able to make in people’s lives. When he took people out of that equation, he was either a) not able to accomplish much, or b) not able to accomplish much that was meaningful.
Bailey also shared that he “let himself go” when there weren’t other people around. Surrounded by more people, one tries harder to be a better person. And when he hit the lows of this experiment – taking three hours to fall asleep, battling a huge cold, and getting depressed, he had no social support network as a safety net.
For the rest of the experiments, read more at the QuickBase Fast Track blog.