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Dear Bill, re: your question on whether you should work all the time

Dear Bill,

I didn't think we were both the type to forget our wallets while scuba diving. Who knew that you could pay for a tour with a fresh tuna? I'm glad you're a skilled spearfisher.

Anyways, I'm no good at underwater sign language, so I may have misinterpreted your hand movements, but while we were diving I thought you may have asked about whether or not you should work all the time.

The answer, in short, Bill, is no. And I don't mean like the purported Elon Musk 100 hour work week. That's just dumb and probably untrue.

Should you work 40 hours a week?

Should you work a typical 40 hours a week? Depends on your job. If you're answering phones, you can't just up and leave for a walk when you feel like it. You should put in your time.

But if you're sitting behind a desk, trying to come up with creative solutions, then I don't think you should work all the time. Why? Because it's not that productive. Trying to make your brain work when it won't is like that thing about dead horses. They can't drag you away.

But what should you do instead?

Whatever gets you feeling like you can work. Nap? Spend time with family? Run from a crime scene? Doesn't matter. Help out someone else? That's what 4Track did the other day.

Here's what we did

It was a hot and beautiful Friday morning when we took some time off to go and do a quick video shoot for a local non-profit. They're in the process of starting a Mobile Market - and if you're wondering what that is, here's all the info you could need.

Long story short, it's a giant bus that drives around to rural places where people don't have access to good fresh food (try doing all your grocery shopping in a gas station for three weeks and you'll understand) and lets people shop just like they would at a decent grocery store. Not a Whole Foods.

So 4Track, because we're all about content, volunteered to help shoot some video content for their campaign. While it's all being edited down, here's a sample preview. OK, not really, because of all the Top Gun stuff, but it is from the footage we took that day from Dancing the Land farm.

Anyways, Bill, I hope this answers your question. You shouldn't work all the time. You should work smarter, not harder.

One more anecdote: the overworking CEO

One more anecdote, Bill, before we go. I'm reminded of a conversation I had in a job interview when the CEO asked me how much I work per day. I told him it depended on the day, but anywhere from 6-10 hours. He asked if I was willing to put in 16 hour days, and I said I could for a specific purpose if there was a sprint we were trying to achieve, for maybe a month or two. He laughed disdainfully and announced he had worked 16 hours a day for the past 10 years.

Which is something, but he's a startup CEO and that's what he has to do. But if you, Bill, in your job, can't accomplish most tasks within a pretty standard workweek, you're probably not that good at your job, or the expectations are incorrectly set.

If we at 4Track can't come up with a content strategy in the time we set out to do it, it isn't that we need to work more and put in longer hours, we need to get better at what we're doing. But we don't need to get better, because we're already the best.

I politely removed myself from the job prospects.

Until next time, Bill.

All for the halibut,


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