What time do you start in the morning? How many days a week in office? What time do you quit working? Do you work weekends?
Wrong questions. Professionals don’t get paid for their time, they get paid for their output.
Instead of hours, track potency. The velocity and quality of what gets done in your hours.
Parkinson’s law states that your tasks will grow to fill the time you give it. This is one of the main drawbacks of the office workweek. Put people in a monotonous environment for 40-60 hours, and they will find ways to overwhelm themselves with tasks.
Given unlimited time, a sprint slows down to a marathon. A marathon slows down to a walking nap.
Leaders generally tell employees what work to do. More valuable, but less common, is a leader who teaches their employees HOW TO WORK.
Get rest. Build energy. Track to-dos meticulously. Set a timer. Bang them out.
Encourage fun challenges. Shorten the window, turn up the volume. Who can get a days’ worth done in 3 hours? Perhaps that person is rewarded with flexibility.
As a leader, objective-setting for your team also factors into this:
If you have a weekly OKR plan, and it is completed in less than a week, does that make the objective unsuccessful, or the 40+ hour week irrelevant? If the OKRs were on point for the business, then your work week might be shorter AND stronger.
As an employee: Ignore time; think about velocity within time. It’s not about hybrid or WFH, it’s about over-delivering. If you want freedom, your corporate benefits package is not going to give it to you.
Price's Law states that in every company, a small minority of killers are doing the great majority of work. Your employer knows this, which is why within most companies there are exceptions who (unofficially and informally) get special treatment because they deliver.
Be the exception, and get your unit price up.
Photo by Julian Song.