Friday, May 26, 2006

The Science of Productivity Hours

It is said that “An employee works an average of 40 hours a week, while an entrepreneur clocked 50-60 hours per week”

It is also said that “A person’s real productivity hours start at 11 A.M and stop at 4.00 P.M”, which means you only get 4 productive hours per day (Given that the person is motivated to work and nothing much disrupts him during work hours)

My brother told me that Quek Leng Chan (Executive Director of Hong Leong Group, multi-billionaire) works until 10 o’clock at night everyday. I wonder is it he had no one trustworthy to delegate his work to, thus have to do most of the things by himself.

How about me? An entrepreneur trying-to-be clocked an average of 5 hours a day (pure productivity hours, discarding in between chat time, nap time, makan time, etc). I try to clock myself again today, just a mere 6 productive hours.

My Timesheet (To Check Productivity Hours)

Question: Am I being too relaxed or I am doing okay? Though working on weekend would help, but I am usually busy with various activities. Thus, I only clocked about 20 hours of productive hours everyweek. Theoretically, if I can clock 40 productive hours per week, my progress speed would had doubled (and that would be great). If I become a real entrepreneur and clocked 60 hours a week, I would have no life but superb progress.

Question: Why can’t I clocked 40 hours a week? Where had the time gone?
  • Chatting Time (2-3 hours per day) - am I a chat addict?
  • TV Time (2-3 hours per day) - this is my all time low
  • Extra Nap Time (2+1 hours per day) - this is a sickness since young, I love sleeping :)
  • Bloging time (2 hours per week) - blog time had been reduced drastically
  • Various activity (2 day per week) - improved social life, less productivity hours
Let’s analyze the time usage in a more statistical method, assuming the weekends are burnt with no productivity. There are 24 hours in a day
  • 7 Hours for Normal Sleep (29%)
  • 3 Hours for Overslept/Nap (12%)
  • 3 Hours for Chat (12%)
  • 3 Hours for TV (12%)
  • 2 Hours for eating/moving around/doing nothing (8%)
  • 1 Hour for email checking/browsing (4%)
So, 19 hours is used up with only 5 hours of productivity hours per weekday. More time is lost when I travel around, went for dancing or went out during weekday. With too many activities going around, I must guard my working hours and not to let it dropped beyond 20 hours a week.

Question: How to sqeeze more time? If I can squeeze 1 hour each from Overslept/Nap, Chat and TV, I would have extra 3 hours per day and probably can hit my target of 40 hours weekly. If I happened to go out on weekday, I would need to cover it back on weekends.

The action plan:
  • Wake up early and avoid nap time (this is a tough one)
  • Reduce chat frequency to 2 hours or less per day
  • Reduce TV time to 2 hours of less per day
  • Try to get one day on weekend as working day (treat it as a backup/bonus plan)
  • Avoid unnecessarily browsing in between the day
I understand that we can’t be productive and motivated all the time, and we have mood swing as well. We need rest and recreation, thus I am not touching the weekends at the moment. Perhaps I am wondering if I am doing enough or too little. 20 hours per week seems to be obviously little, and 40 hours per week seems to be a much comfortable level. Though productivity isn’t that straightforward, but I should at least get the basic hours up.

Give me strength and wisdom! Seems like I need planning and discipline as well :)

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