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17 Comments

How hard should you work?

  1. 4

    I consider myself a hard worker, but I am also strategic. To grow your career, whether you work for someone or for yourself, it is not about putting longer hours or working harder. It’s all about having a strategic plan.

    You could be spending many hours on low-value tasks, but if you don't produce outcomes, it's all useless.

    Here is a specifc example: As an IndieHacker, you could spend 8 hours a day creating graphics on Canva about your new product (it's fun and you probably like doing it, I do too!). But if you are not promoting those graphics at places where your ideal customers are, then you're actually not producing any outcome. You're better off creating just one or two graphics and using the rest of the time on promoting them.

    1. 7

      +1 this.

      That's why every day on my to do list, I've put this header to remind myself:

      “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.”

      ~ by Caterina Fake

      1. 1

        Great quote. Thanks for sharing.

    2. 1

      You could be spending many hours on low-value tasks, but if you don't produce outcomes, it's all useless.

      Yeah but if you spend all your time in high-value tasks you don't like, what's the point to be an Indie Hacker? Or should we find high-value task with positive outcomes for our business? And if they don't exist?

      Genuine questions here. I'm curious.

      1. 1

        Great question! It’d be most ideal if you could find high-value tasks that produce positive outcomes. I’m not saying you omit all low-value tasks. You can still do them if it brings you joy. But not all the time and not only them. Being mindful of where and how you’re spending your time is so important when you’re an indie hacker.

        1. 1

          That makes sense. Thanks!

  2. 2

    A great point - I fell victim to this thinking of working long hours for the last 8 years of my career. At the end of 2020, I stepped back and spent more time thinking about my life, my direction, my plan, how to get there ... and yes I can do a lot more with less time if I work on the right things.

    The other thing Scott talks about is if you have a job, then you don't want to overperform during the hours. This is so true. My wife used to work in this semi-gov organization for trade shows, and every staff would intentionally report less attendance than actual. This way their target for next year won't be a lot higher, they're making their lives easier for next year, that's the mindset. When you have a job, you're just doing things to keep your job, not to make the most out of it... This is why I'm increasingly convinced about the creator/passion economy where everyone is working for themselves, this will increase productivity/output by A LOT!

  3. 2

    I definitely did not just procrastinate by reading this article

  4. 2

    Don't think and quantify your work, just do it, often times i waste more time thinking what should be the ideal way or hours to put into it. That wastes a lot more time than implementing it. Just go fast, while on the move you will do many mistake and learn from them, making you more efficient.

  5. 2

    You can work harder within each unit of time, but the total number of units of time during which you can work hard would have been reduced.

    It's like the Work Laws of Thermodynamics.

    I don't think any of us indie hackers intentionally slack off during work hours and choose to work at low intensity.

    That makes no sense, as we all want to be as productive as possible to give our startup the best chance to succeed.

    Put simply, the harder you work, the more time off you need.

  6. 2

    Personally i think it`s not about the amount of time yo do in an office but how much value does your work add to the company.

    Generally people think that if you do long extra hours and summit to bosses orders no matter what you`ll be rewarded somehow.

    This is not true, at least for me. Work shouldn`t be an enslaving activity in my opinion.

    You should analyze your actual tasks and think in which way you could improve them. Don`t be shy to try new approaches, always try to evolve your workflow until you can be more productive in less time.

    I hope you got your answer

    1. 3

      Generally people think that if you do long extra hours and summit to bosses orders no matter what you`ll be rewarded somehow.

      This is not true, at least for me. Work shouldn`t be an enslaving activity in my opinion.

      I totally agree. But the problem is: what you should do is largely dependent on the culture at your job. Some jobs reward you for the value you provide. Other jobs reward you for the mere appearance of value — hours worked, office politics, etc. And still other jobs don't reward any particular behavior so long as you do the bare minimum.

      This is why I'm so passionate about being an entrepreneur. When you work for yourself, you put yourself in a position where there's really no alternative but to make a valuable contribution.

      1. 1

        you're really fortunate to have a culture that allows entrepreneurship without penalty... even as an employee! most biz can't say the same.

        really cool stuff. i encourage my team to explore outside interests and build stuff all the time.

  7. 1

    If you'd like to hear the founder of Pioneer's and Courtland Allen's persepective on this. Check out podcast: https://www.indiehackers.com/podcast/080-daniel-gross-of-pioneer at 51:46 .

  8. 1

    Taking a break is important. I work mostly around 10 hours a day. I could work longer, but in the end of a day my mental capacity is drained. When this time has come, I'm happy to switch to a entertainment series or talk to my peers about stuff. That's the way I keep my balance. Otherwise my batteries won't recharge over night and I will loose in the long run.

  9. 1

    The only thing people will remember is what you managed to do... If it takes you twice as long, fair enough, just get to the finish line... Nobody remembers the hardest working man. Who's that guy anyway? Is he still alive?

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