We asked members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) what it means to have and plan for work hours they want.
"It's true that entrepreneurship offers the potential for flexibility and self-determination when it comes to one's own schedule. At the same time, this creates an obligation to be disciplined so that time is used well. Otherwise, there's more stress instead of freedom. I use a to-do list to prioritize important tasks and try to complete them in the morning--for the rest of the day the pressure's off and I can take care of some of the more strategic activities or carve out some time for myself."
Evan Rudowski, EO UK--London
Managing Partner, Atlantic Leap Limited
Take Regular Days Off
"To save my marriage, I had to stop working over 80 hours a week. I now take Monday afternoons, Thursdays, most Saturdays and Sundays off. Although the short work week is a challenge, it has forced me to delegate, and elevate my team to a level otherwise impossible. I've had to learn to prioritize, focus and say 'No' to unimportant matters. It's been the best couple years of marriage and what's more, I get to be a part of my kids' lives!"
James Webb, EO Colorado
CEO, 836 Investments
"My desired work hours gives me time with family and personal reflection. To achieve this, we are implementing systems and processes, which foster clarity and accountability in our organization. Since adding team members to address tactical items, we've created a flexible schedule. I can now focus on strategy."
Vlad Molchadski, EO Dallas
CEO, BizTraffic LLC
Work "on" the Business
"Rather than having set work hours, I want the flexibility to do what I want when I want. For that, I had to automate and offload as many of the day-to-day activities as I could, so operations would not bottleneck on my end. I prefer working "on the business" in a strategic capacity and on areas that will ensure our long-term growth. So it doesn't matter when I do the work, as long as I accomplish what's necessary to achieve my goals."
Cheryl Biron, EO New Jersey
President, One Horn Transportation
Avoid Work During Nighttime and Weekends
"I have two young boys at home, so it's important that I don't spend time on weekends or evenings away from them, so I do creative work from around 3:00am to 8:00am on weekdays. Yes, it's early, but it gives me uninterrupted time to get into the state of mind for my creative process. It also allows me to be at the Zenman office from 8:00-5:00pm when the team needs to meet. For me, making the switch just made sense: this schedule gives me undisturbed morning work time, working hours with my team, and the family time I want during nights and weekends."
Keith Roberts, EO Colorado
President and Founder, Zenman
To learn more about EO members' entrepreneurial experiences and insights, visit Overdrive, EO's global business blog.