How Many Days Would You Like To Work a Week?

rocketWhat do you think…

  • Three 10-hours days?
  • Six days of 5 highly focused and efficient hours?
  • Swapping your week – working two 18-hour days, and having five days off?

What would be your optimal work-week?

One of the many benefits of being a home-based entrepreneur is the ability to design a schedule around your own personal cycles, habits, preferences, and lifestyle.

Depending on your type of business, working from home allows you to manage your time on your own terms. I know people who are working similar hours to the examples I provide above, as well as some other unusual schedules. I also know plenty who work what you might consider a typical work-week, Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.

If you are in the process of making the leap to self-employment, think about what your dream week would look like. During the course of an average week at your current job, when are you most productive? When do you feel completely drained? Are you a morning person, afternoon person, or night owl?

Keep in mind that if you hate your job, it might be more difficult to nail this down. For example, you may actually be the type of person who is highly productive on Mondays, but if you hate going to your job, that may hamper your effectiveness. Just something to think about as you mull over your ideal work-week.

Also, it’s important to remember, that working for yourself often involves many more hours than working for sometime else – at least when you’re starting out. But loving what you do usually balances it out. Just be sure to schedule in some non-working time too. Enthusiasm is great, but don’t burn yourself out.

So as you design and plan out your home-based business, consider your ideal work week. This is your business…

How many days works for you…?


  1. Tony,

    Great job of pointing out that working for yourself often involves longer hours than working for someone else. I know that I frequently work 12 or more hour days.

    However, not only does loving what you do balance it out, as you said, but it is also the fact that as the business owner YOU pick which 12 hours you want to work.

    Not a day goes by that I don’t take a nap whenever the spirit moves me. πŸ™‚

    Also, another facet of working from home is that since you are in charge of yourself, you have to keep yourself on task.

    Although I will NEVER go back to work for someone else, I imagine that most people don’t realize how easy they have it to just show up at their job and simply do what someone else says. Who the heck can’t to that??

  2. Hm, I’m averaging 15 hours per day and 7 days per week at the moment. It’s not all writing and tweaking of my blog, but it’s more like everything related to personal growth, the blog included.

    Still got a long way to go.
    And couldn’t enjoy it more.
    Or could I…? =)

  3. Alex – Great article. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Aaron – I completely agree. Lots of hours, but you (mostly) get to pick them.

    Johan – Sounds about right πŸ˜‰

  4. When my wife and I were both working I used to work till Friday at noon. It was great to have 2 1/2 days off each week. Now that my wife is at home with our kids, my hours have increased to 6+ days per week.

  5. Spot on, Tony!

    Y’know, whoever hire me would be thrilled with the amount of hours (solid hours, no hanky-panky) I put into my work. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. I love being in control of my businesses. Control freak, can’t help it!

    However, what I need to change is to reduce the hours per day. I rather work “daily” on shorter hours than longer hours for two days straight. I love momentum. Too many days off to the beach can get me too lazy to come back to work.

  6. I don’t think I ever took the time to actually count how many hours or days I “work” …

    I like the fact that I work when I feel like it, and I do something else when I don’t. Everyone puts so much emphasis on the hours they put in, but I find it difficult to use “time” to measure the “value” of my work.

    I’m not saying I don’t value my time, but I think it’s more important to know that my time is being spent doing something FUN, INTERESTING and PROFITABLE versus something boring and useless.

    My work week is always planned out, but I think it’s also important to be flexible according to your mood. If I choose to hit the hills (snowboarding) for 3 days straight, then i’ll do it without worrying that I “should” be working. Knowing well enough that when I decide to return to work, it’ll be because I want to and not because I have to.

  7. I work in blocks of time. Usually goes something like this. 6-7:30 am, then 9-12 noon, then 1:30-3:30, then 9-11 pm. Sometimes the 9-11 pm doesn’t occur and Thursdays might get a 4:30-6:30 block.

    Over the years I have gotten better about not doing client work on weekends. If I come into the office on the weekend, I usually work on one of my own projects.

  8. Looking at this post and the comments, you realize how inefficient a rigid 8-5 office schedule is. Another reason why telecommuting, virtual officing, whatever you want to call it, makes sense.

  9. I’d totally choose 2 18 hour days with 5 days off … that would be GREAT!

    The reality is probably that I’d work 6 18 hour days, with 1 day of sleeping. I would be too focused on building my business to take time off, as much as I’d love to.

  10. Stephen – That’s cool that you are able to adjust to fit your lifestyle. There’s also the theory that the work grows to fill the time πŸ˜‰

    Renee – I completely agree. I’m the same way. I need the momentum too.

    Alex – For a lot of self employed folks, their work is so integrated with their life, that they don’t actually count hours (unless they’re billable). That’s how it is for me.

    Char – Sounds like a great schedule. Working on your own projects on the weekends is a nice way to make sure you’re putting in the time for yourself and furthering your own agenda.

    Brad – That’s a great point. I’ve found that people are more productive when they work following their own cycles.

    Maryam – At one time I worked 4 hours as day, 7 days a week. I liked having the free time in the afternoons. Now, I’m too busy πŸ™‚

    Anita – I know what you mean. When you’re working towards a goal, it’s hard NOT to work sometimes.

  11. My dream schedule would be Monday thru Friday graveyards. The midnight hours are my optimal times. Unfortunately I work a “day job” and so am stuck trying to work around that until I can afford to quit. *sighs and daydreams of that day*

  12. I think I’m with Anita. If I were working toward building my own business, I’d probably spend every waking moment at it. The reality is that it isn’t sustainable over a period of time but when you love what you’re doing, its so much easier to put in the hours. You also have a clear and hopefully attainable goal – something that often eludes the average person in the typical employer-employee business relationship.

  13. It is so great to come across this site… as someone going through quite a life/career transition, it’s so great to see a site that supports what I’ve always thought about and the natural way in which I work (I hate mornings, don’t really get productive until around midday and can work well into the night, but prefer short bursts of activity)… I know I’m not just a freak or some kind of slacker who don’t believe that doing 8 hours a day in an office (surfing the net oftentimes) is the most productive or efficient. Thanks and good luck to everyone!

  14. My ideal work week would be:
    Tuesday: 9am – 4pm
    Wednesday: 8am – 4pm
    Thursday: 8am – 3:30pm
    w/ 30 min. lunch break in between
    That’s it. 21 hrs/week. Wouldn’t that be awesome!

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